Robotic solutions during Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses which may cause illness in animals or humans.  In humans, several coronaviruses are known to cause respiratory infections ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). The most recently discovered coronavirus causes coronavirus disease COVID-19.

COVID-19 is the infectious disease caused by the most recently discovered coronavirus. People can catch COVID-19 from others who have the virus. The disease can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth which are spread when a person with COVID-19 coughs or exhales. 

Considering the unfortunate pandemic situation of COVID-19, robots could be used in order to help our society. These robots are designed and developed by students and collaborators in recent years and certainly as the nature of the university research, there are still in the level of R&D, prototype and proof of concept. This page shares all the details of these robots in the case that other institutes find any of them useful and decide to utilize these research outcomes in their research and development.

Ambulance Robot (AmbuBot)

Time is a critical issue when dealing with people affected by Coronavirus. Also due to the current emergency disaster, doctors could be far away from the patients. Additionally, avoiding direct contact with infected person is a medical priority. An immediate monitoring and treatment using specific kits must be administered to the victim.

We have designed and developed the Ambulance Robot (AmbuBot) which could be a solution to address those issues. AmbuBot could be placed in various locations especially in busy, remote or quarantine areas to assist in above mentioned scenario. The AmbuBot also brings along an AED in a sudden event of cardiac arrest and facilitates various modes of operation from manual to semi-autonomous to autonomous functioning .

The ambulance robot could be operated remotely using internet and doctors could instruct the local people for appropriate action. The robot could carry any required medical kit such as thermometer, AED, Coronavirus test kit, etc. Doctors could have bi-directional communication via the robot equipped with audiovisual channels. They could even remotely operate the robot wheels and arm.

Related Publications:

· H. Samani, R. Zhu (2016) Robotic Automated External Defibrillator Ambulance for Emergency Medical Service in Smart Cities, IEEE Access Journal, Volume 4, PP: 268 – 283. Download

· M. Arif, H. Samani (2014) AMBUBOT: Ambulance robot, Automated External Defibrillator robotic ambulance, 16th IEEE International Conference on Advanced Communication Technology (ICACT). Download

3D Delivery System

The 3D delivery system is utilizing a UAV robot to bring required goods such as food or medical supplies to the person in any floor of the apartment. The system receives a request for delivery via an APP from a client and later delivers that item to a desired location in the three dimensional environment. The UAV has the ability to navigate in the outdoor environment and move from the base location to the supplier at the first stage and later find the optimum path to the client for delivery. The system focuses on delivering above ground level locations, such as a specified floor in a building. This system can be used in various coronavirus infected area scenarios in order to autonomously deliver goods medical items and food from an arbitrary point to a client in multistory buildings.

Related Publications:

· B. Y. Li, H. Lin, H. Samani, L. Sadler, T. Gregory and B. Jalaian (2017) On 3D Autonomous Delivery Systems: Design and Development, 2017 International conference on Advanced Robotics and Intelligent Systems, ARIS 2017, IEEE, Taipei, Taiwan, 6-8 Sep 20117. Download

· Y. W. Kao, H. Samani, S. C. Tasi, B. Jalaian, N. Suri & M. Lee (2019) Intelligent Search, Rescue, and Disaster Recovery via Internet of Things, 2019 Global IoT Summit (GIoTS), IEEE, Aarhus, Denmark, 17-21 June 2019. Download

– Doctor Robot

It is unfortunate to see how medical workers such as doctors and nurses risk their life to be in direct contact with the patients. Robotic systems could be used to examine and monitor the health situation of the people when it is dangerous to be in direct contact with them.

Related Publications:

· C. Y. Su, H. Samani, C. Y. Yang, O. N. N. Fernando (2018) Doctor Robot with Physical Examination for Skin Disease Diagnosis and Telemedicine Application, 2018 International Conference on System Science and Engineering (ICSSE), IEEE, New Taipei City, Taiwan, 2018, 28-30 Jun 2018. Download

· S. C. Tsai, H. Samani, Y. W. Kao, K. Zhu and B. Jalaian (2018) Design and Development of Interactive Intelligent Medical AgentIEEE Artificial Intelligence Virtual Reality (AIVR) Conference, Taichung, Taiwan, 10th-12th December 2018. Download

– Mood Booster Robot

​Due to Coronavirus situation ​various quarantine​​ on travel in and out of ​home or city have been imposed​. People have been locked down in their homes, hotel rooms and communities. That leads to​ a serious stress and mental instability. We have developed a robot called Mood Booster which is a novel robotics system with affective interaction capability. This robot acts as a personal companion with focusing on the mood of the user. The robot has the ability to detect emotions of the user through visual and audio sensors. The emotional processing unit employs advances in the field of affective computing and artificial intelligence in order to estimate the emotional state of the user. Additionally, the artificial intelligence unit activates certain behaviors of the robot to generate positive emotional interaction towards the user. Such expressions would be projected by various behaviors of the robot such as audio output and music. The uniqueness of this robot is that additionally the robot generates relevant smell accordingly by digital scent technology. The robot is capable of appropriate moving as a mobile agent. For example when the robot detects the stressed emotion by the user, it plays relaxing music, produces relaxing scent and navigates smoothly around without disturbing the user.

Related Publications:

· J. H. Lui, H. Samani,K. Y. Tien (2017) An Affective Mood Booster Robot based on Emotional Processing Unit, 2017 International Automatic Control Conference, Pingtung, Taiwan, 12-15 Nov 2017. Download

· H. Samani (2015) Book: Cognitive Robotics, ISBN: 148224456X.