Robots aiding humans during pandemic

As Covid-19 continues to spread throughout the world, some Asian countries have been able to fast-track robots to minimise human-to-human contact while still caring for patients.
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Robots aiding humans during pandemic

 As Covid-19 continues to spread throughout the world, some Asian countries have been able to fast-track robots to minimise human-to-human contact while still caring for patients. Telehealth, which has been talked about in this country, has just reached a whole new level.

The AI-powered robotic assistant known as Temi is the brainchild of Israeli start-up Robotemi, which has now converted the robot to help minimise the spread of the coronavirus. How? By adding a thermal camera and thermometer for taking temperatures; equipping it with a tray for carrying food, drinks and medicine; and attaching a sink where staff can wash their hands. Hundreds of the robots are now in use in China, South Korea, Hong Kong and Japan as they deal with the pandemic.

Originally designed as a personal assistant for the elderly and for busy households, the one metre-high robot weighs just 12 kg. It features a 25 cm HD LCD screen with multi-touch interface with autonomous face-tracking tilt that uses a brushless DC motor with planetary gear for accuracy and low noise. This provides video communication with the patient by hospital staff and relatives.

The robot can run up to eight hours on lithium-ion cells and is connected via Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. A Temi is equipped with four omni-directional digital mics and 20 W audio and can hear, recognise, understand, and respond to a user's voice using Auto Speech Recognition (ASR) and far field voice technology, natural language processing (NLP) and text-to-speech (TTS).

It has an autonomous navigation system that comprises 3D mapping, navigation, user detection and tracking, obstacle avoidance and path planning. The Robox system is based on ARM architecture that enables high performance with minimal power consumption. There are two CPUs in this robot, one is an ARM Quad core while the second is an ARM Hexa core and a Linux OS.

On-board sensors include 360 degrees LIDAR, two depth cameras, RGB camera, five proximity sensors, and IMU sensor, and six Time Of Flight linear sensors. If that's not enough, this robot charges mobile phones; includes a software development kit (SDK) and integrates with Amazon's Alexa. If only it made cappuccinos.