Boston Dynamics Spot robot to help doctors treat COVID-19 patients and protect healthcare workers.
Mobile robots play a vital role in removing people from dangerous environments.
“We have spent the last six weeks building and testing a payload and application architecture that would enable our robot, Spot, to help reduce exposure of frontline healthcare workers to the novel COVID-19 virus.
We developed the payload, hardware, and software for this application so that they are generalizable and able to be deployed on other mobile robotic platforms with APIs and capacity for custom payloads.
Today, we are sharing 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. Our hope is that these tools can enable developers and roboticists to rapidly deploy robots in order to reduce risks to medical staff.”
Starting in early March, Boston Dynamics started receiving inquiries from hospitals asking if our robots could help minimize their staff’s exposure to COVID-19. One of the hospitals that we spoke to shared that, within a week, a sixth of their staff had contracted COVID-19 and that they were looking into using robots to take more of their staff out of range of the novel virus.
Based on these conversations, as well as the global shortage of critical personal protective equipment (PPE), we have spent the past several weeks trying to better understand hospital requirements to develop a mobile robotics solution with our robot, Spot. The result is a legged robot application that can be deployed to support frontline staff responding to the pandemic in ad-hoc environments such as triage tents and parking lots.
Today marks the second week of Spot’s presence at a local Boston facility, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, where the medical team uses the robot as a mobile telemedicine platform, allowing healthcare providers to remotely triage patients. We’re listening to their feedback on how Spot can do more but are encouraged by reports that using the robot has helped their nursing staff minimize time exposed to potentially contagious patients.
Images credit Boston Dynamics
source Boston Dynamics