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China deploys robots on front line to fight epidemic

China has deployed robots to the front line of the fight against the novel coronavirus epidemic to carry out tasks ranging from medical consultation, disinfection and food and medicine delivery to temperature measurement.

A robot delivers parcels for local residents. (Photo/Xinhua)

Robots designed for medical consultation have been put into use in the wards of many hospitals across the country in recent days. At the outpatient hall of the Peking University Shougang Hospital, a robot developed by OrionStar, an intelligent robot company in Beijing, was deployed. Armed with six microphones, cameras and advanced technologies such as laser positioning, the robot can answer patients’ questions and help doctors carry out remote medical consultation, reducing the risk of cross-infection.

More than 200 disinfection robots provided by a number of Chinese enterprises, including Shanghai TMiRob, have entered hospitals to help combat the epidemic. Intelligent navigation technology enables the robots to avoid obstacles, improve disinfection efficiency and reduce cross-infection risks.

According to TMiRob, its robots are installed with hydrogen peroxide sprayers and ultraviolet lamps that allow them to perform multiple forms of disinfection in environments where humans and machines coexist.

Meanwhile, delivery robots have been put into use to prevent close contact between people. The Guangdong Provincial People's Hospital in Guangzhou, south China’s Guangdong province, has deployed two self-driving delivery robots to help medical staff carry out tasks involving drug and food delivery as well as recycling of medical waste.

The workload of one delivery robot is equivalent to that of three deliverymen, greatly reducing the cross-infection risk for clinic staff.

In addition, infrared temperature measuring robots have been widely used to detect suspected patients, as body temperature measurement is an important part of epidemic prevention and control work.

At the Beijing Ditan Hospital, people can only enter after having their temperatures taken by robots. One robot can take the temperatures of five to 10 people at the same time. If someone’s body temperature exceeds 37 degrees Celsius, the robot will automatically sound an alarm.

Beijing Haidian Hospital has introduced an artificial intelligence imaging diagnosis system for pneumonia, which can carry out 300 chest radiographs in 10 seconds. Developed by Infervision Beijing Co., Ltd. and the Wuhan-based Tongji Hospital affiliated to the Huazhong University of Science and Technology, the system can help doctors diagnose and evaluate patients suspected of carrying the novel coronavirus, greatly improving diagnosis efficiency. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Hongyu, Bianji)

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