Robot swabs patients’ throats for Covid-19

In just four weeks, a team of robotics researchers from the University of Southern Denmark has succeeded in developing the world’s first fully automatic swab robot, able to test patients for Covid-19. It will be deployed for work by late June, news wires reported.

With a 3D printed, specially designed disposable tool, the robot holds a swab and hits the exact spot in the throat from which the sample is to be collected. Subsequently, the robot puts the swab into a glass and screws the lid on to seal the sample. And the researchers have tested the robot by themselves. “I was one of the first to be swabbed by the robot. It went really well. I’m still sitting here,” Professor Thiusius Rajeeth Savarimuthu of SDU Robotics said:

The professor is in charge of the team of ten researchers who have been working around the clock in the Industry 4.0 Lab at the University of Southern Denmark to develop the prototype as quickly as possible, so that the healthcare staff avoids the risk of infection when carrying out throat swabs. There are good perspectives in robots taking over the throat swabbing work both in relation to Covid-19, but also in all future viruses, he added.

Test, test, test says WHO, but at the same time, health professionals are at risk of becoming infected when doing throat swabs on potential corona patients. Therefore, a throat swab robot could do the job instead of humans, Savarimuthu pointed out.

More on this subject: Coronavirus

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