Jharkhand hospital deploys collaborative robots in isolation facility

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A Co-Bot is a medical assistant that is capable to transfer both medicines and food from one bed to another without requiring health workers to attend to COVID-19 patients, thereby reducing the risk of infection.

The Jharkhand government unprecedentedly begin to experiment with Co-Bot (collaborative robot) to keep a tab for infection in COVID-19 isolation facility. It is anticipated to reduce human interference in patient care. This first Co-Bot would be deployed in Chakradharpur Railway Hospital, where an isolation facility will be inaugurated on Tuesday.

“In general doctors and nurses are provided with personal protective equipment. However, the health workers who have to supply food and water are exposed to coronavirus. So we planned of utilizing Co-Bot for transferring essential items from one bed to another,” said Aditya Ranjan, Deputy Development Commissioner of West Singhbhum.

The Co-Bot was developed at a price of ₹25000 per machine while its carrying capacity is 45 kg. The machine, run by remote control, can move to a distance of 200-ft and is equipped with both camera and speaker.

Co-Bot is collaborative robot, which means it is safe to work with humans without the need for any caging, safety scanners, etc. unlike traditional robots. They are portable, simple to install, and easy to programme, unlike their bulky predecessors (industrial robots) that required much more space, time for deployment, and specialised programming knowledge

According to Mr. Ranjan, there is a possibility to manufacture one to two co-bots per day. “We have big halls with 15 beds each covered by fiber case. We can supply food from outside and it will control transmission between two persons. The delivery boys will be much safer now,” he added.

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