RESEARCHERS at Elche’s Miguel Hernández University(UMH) have produced a world-first of a robotic arm that takes COVID-19 test swabs.
A major plus is that the automated process does not expose health workers to possible coronavirus infection,
The prototype was demonstrated this week by project leader, Nicolas Garcia.
His team came up with the patented device in just five months.
This hi-tech arm can collect samples from the nose or the back of the throat and works on via recognition cameras and sensors.
The whole operation is fully disinfected with the use of ultraviolet light.
The robot takes the sample and pops it into a secure container, which is then taken to a laboratory for analysis.
Besides taking health workers out of the equation in collecting samples, it also frees them up to other jobs in their busy schedule like administering vaccines.
Nicolas Garcia said: “There are so many risks for medical staff in getting a coronavirus swab test done and despite wearing PPE, they could still get COVID-19.”
The robot can do the whole process for each patient between seven and eight minutes,
One application could be to use it for testing where there are large numbers of people that need to be processed, like at airports.
The arm is just one of four projects to do with the coronavirus that researchers at the UMH are working on, with funding from the Valencian Government.