Representational image.

A 23-year-old engineer from Maharashtra’s Thane has developed a first-of-its kind ‘Internet-controlled’ robot specifically to address the needs of hospitals treating COVID-19 patients.

The gizmo, aptly called ‘Coro-bot’ independently dispenses food, water, beverages, medicines – and even some good advice – to Coronavirus patients without the needs for nurses, ward staff or other care-givers.

Designed and created by Pratik Tirodkar, founder of a start-up PNT Solutions, Dombivali, recently, the first Coro-bot is currently deployed successfully at the Holy Cross Hospital in Kalyan.

Tirodkar said this ‘Coro-bot’ eliminates the need of physical presence or contact of nurses or ward boys with the patient.

“It can deliver food, water, medicines and interact with the patients through a camera. Through a speaker, it can also advise patients on various precautions like sanitizing their hands before picking up anything from the robotic tray,” he said.

The company has created a special App to operate Coro-bot from any location in the world using Internet of Things (IoT) technology – a first anywhere in the world that this technique is being deployed in the medical field, Tirodkar said.

The Coro-bot comes with 3 trays with a carrying capacity of 10-15 kg each, plus a 30-kg storage at the bottom, enabling it to serve the supplies to over a dozen patients at a time in the COVID-19 ward.

“There are separate dispensers for water, tea, coffee, besides sensors for sanitizers which flow out quickly when the patient holds his hand below it and cuts off the supply when the hand is removed. Thus there is minimum wastage,” Tirodkar explained.

The Coro-bot also has LED lights illumination to make it convenient for night usage as well, timers for indicating lunch-dinner, emergency button, besides a small PC like screen on the top for basic computer work or entertainment, he said.

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