Robot tech to be open-sourced by Boston Dynamics to aid medical staff

After the world has witnessed Boston Dynamics‘ Spot robot walking, running, dancing, and opening doors, now, the company has given it a more crucial task at the time of the coronavirus pandemic: telemedicine.

In this new solution, the iPad mounted on the robot lets health workers communicate with patients remotely, saving time, minimizing exposure, and preserving personal protective equipment (PPE). The freshly made application is already under trial in Bringham and Women’s Hospital in Massachusetts.

Boston Dynamics informed it’s open-sourcing this applications’ hardware and software design used for developers and robot-makers to develop solutions for fighting coronavirus:

“We made the payload, hardware, and software for this application so that they are generalizable and can be deployed on other mobile robotic platforms with APIs and capacity for custom payloads,” they added.

“Today, we are presenting the results of our initial work deploying the robot with Bringham and Women’s Hospital in Massachusetts and we are open-sourcing the hardware and software designs used to get these robots into the field. We hope that these tools can enable developers and roboticists to rapidly deploy robots to reduce risks to medical staff,” they shared.

The company is also finding out ways to measure body temperature, respiratory rate, pulse rate, and oxygen saturation remotely via Spot.

The goal is to gauge body temperature and respiratory rate via a thermal camera and pulse rate via an externally-mounted RGB camera.

At later stages, the team wants to mount a disinfectant technology such as a UV-C light on the back of Spot to sanitizer patients and surfaces around the robot.




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