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I’m sure many of you are aware of Boston Dynamic’s infamous videos of their robot tech working in action, opening doors, doing backflips, and even doing basic assault courses. However, until they take over and become our overlords, it is the robot dog Spot that is being utilized to help healthcare workers on the frontline fighting COVID-19.
Boston Dynamics has been working with Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital to provide remote care by utilizing Spot robots and a two-way radio/iPad combo in an effort to keep workers at a safe distance. With this method, Spot robots are able to navigate their way through triage tents and patients can communicate with doctors to receive a diagnosis on whether they have contracted the virus.
There is, unfortunately, one downside. There’s a barrier for collecting vital sign information such as pulse, body temperature, and oxygen saturation so diagnosing a patient can only be done based on visual signs and symptoms. Boston Dynamics are already thinking of a solution, potentially using thermal imaging to measure the changes in blood vessels as well as a UV-C light and other tech to kill the virus head-on.
If this develops further and transferred over to more mass-produced robots, it could be a saving grace, reducing the strain on medical equipment supplies and the number of medical professionals required on the front line. Thankfully, Boston Dynamics are already in talks with Canadian based Clearpath Robotics to potentially develop a new solution so this could be a reality in the very near future.
Do you think that this is the future of medical diagnosis? Or are there too many variables? We’ll have to wait and see how Boston Dynamics can tackle that aspect. All I can say is that if they’re able to reduce the number of frontline workers potentially contracting the virus then its a step in the right direction.