Robots are playing a great role in helping doctors, nurses etc., to help maintain social distance while handling COVID-19 patients. In the same light, Government Industrial Training Institute, Cuttack has developed two robots with the help of StartUp Odisha, Dr Hrusikesh Mohanty, Principal, ITI, explains further on significance of these robots in today’s times in an interaction with Sanjiv Das
The Government-run Industrial Training Institute (ITI) in Cuttack has developed two low-cost robots. What are the features of these robots and how can they help doctors to tackle COVID-19?
ITI Cuttack has developed two robots for the COVID-19 special ward operation in association with our technology/industry partner SakRobotix Lab. The first one is a service robot which will help the medical staff to deliver food/ medicines/ water/ prescription to the patients at bed site and the second one is a telepresence robot, which will help doctors do remote consulting where the robot is enabled with video communication technology.
These robots have navigation and mapping tools for autonomous movement in the hospital. We are using Robotics Operating System (ROS) in both robots.
What will be the cost of these robots? Did you receive any government grants for the same?
The cost of the robots will be Rs 2.5 lakhs- 3 lakhs with autonomous navigation. StartUp Odisha, an initiative by the Government of Odisha, has supported the project prototyping.
Do you plan to go for patents? Did you receive ICMR approval?
These are a few of the open source technologies. We are exploring to file a few design patents. We are initiating communication with the ICMR, however, our robots are not performing any medical practicing activities. The robots are an interface and help doctors/medical staff to maintain social distance inside hospitals and reduce the chances of contamination.
How has AI and technological innovation helped you in this endeavour?
We have used the SLAM algorithm for navigation and mapping. The robots will be enabled with more features to make them more intelligent at the work site .Our technology/industry partner SakRobotix Lab is exploring all possible ways in this direction .
Did ITI Cuttack invent any other devices/ medium to help the medical fraternity during COVID-19 pandemic?
ITI Cuttack has developed a swab collection unit, disinfection tunnel indigenously. We are also in the process to develop another robot in association with our technology/industry partner SakRobotix Lab.