These robots are assisting in the fight against COVID-19

From maintaining hospital sanitation to delivering groceries and enforcing social distancing, there are many powerful ways that tech is aiding the fight against COVID-19

There’s no doubt that the coronavirus pandemic has driven a technology revolution. Education is not the only sector that’s seen an accelerated digital transition in response to the outbreak; medicine, business, entertainment, retail, and just about every other industry has been forced to adapt.

Technologies such as AI, robotics and automation have had a powerful impact in terms of helping to minimise the spread of the disease, as well as allowing some essence of normal daily life to continue as safely and conveniently as possible. Here are just some of the ways these innovative technologies have assisted in the fight:


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Spot early adopters have shown us how agile mobile robots can be a transformative tool for reducing risks and improving efficiency in industrial processes. Now, with Spot available for purchase, it’s your turn to see what Spot can do. Shop Spot by clicking the link in our bio. Many thanks to all of our early adopters and partners, especially those who contributed footage of their Spot applications to this video: NASA JPL Team CoSTAR: @nasajpl Adam Savage’s @testedcom Trimble: HoloBuilder: @holobuilder Hensel Phelps: @henselphelps Cognite: @cognitedata AkerBP: @akerbp Rocos: Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group: @cirquedusoleil

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‘Spot’, the yellow ‘dog’ from Boston Dynamics

Described as a “nimble robot that climbs stairs and traverses rough terrain with unprecedented ease”, ‘Spot’ the dog, from American engineering and robotics design company Boston Dynamics, has certainly proved its worth in the midst of the pandemic.

When it comes to healthcare, Spot has multiple uses, including triaging patients; delivering food, medicine and medical supplies; and disinfecting rooms from afar. But Spot also has its use when it comes to public safety; in Singapore parks, for example, Spot the dog uses its cameras and sensors to ensure people are adhering to social distancing guidelines, issuing a pre-recorded to warning to rule breakers who may be putting other members of the public at risk. What a good robot doggo!

Tally from Simbe Robotics

The San Francisco start-up Simbe Robotics has been a real pandemic hero for supermarkets and other retailers. US grocery store chain Giant Eagle and Market District supermarkets, for example, have been piloting Tally in the Pittsburgh, Cleveland and Akron, and Ohio regions, employing the autonomous robots to monitor changes on store shelves, freeing up human employees to focus on disinfecting surfaces and maintaining the optimum levels of sanitation. The robot can detect up to 10 times more out-of-stock items than a manual audit.

James the robot

Descibed as the “first butler robot for a more pleasant life”, James moves around autonomously and can help support people in various aspects of life. On top of connecting to your calendar, playing your favourite tunes and helping you control smart devices in your home, James also plays pre-recorded videos, animations and messages, and helps people stay connected to the outside world.

James is the perfect lockdown buddy, and Belgian company Zorabots, for example, has recruited an entire fleet to help elderly and vulnerable residents keep in contact with their loved ones – the prime example of using robotics for social good.

‘NewMe’ from OhmniLabs

Made in the US and shipped all over the globe, Ohmi’s ‘NewMe’ telepresence robot transforms the way people connect, whether that’s from the home, the workplace, the classroom or the hospital.

In Japan, the NewMe robots have been used to allow quarantined students to attend virtual graduation ceremonies, ensuring the safety and welfare of all involved while allowing isolated students to celebrate this wonderful milestone in their lives. The telepresence robots were draped in graduation gowns and ‘received’ their degree certificates from university officials. It may not have been the day graduates had planned, but it sure was one to remember!

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