Twenty-six-year-old mechanical engineer Mahmoud El Komy created remote-controlled robot is being used in Cairo, Egypt to collect samples for testing.
Measures like this robot could reduce the risk of transmission for medical providers, who have to get very close to people who potentially have infectious diseases.
In Boston, Spot robots were used to screen patients remotely, using iPads so doctors could talk to and visually assess them. In India and other countries, robots have been tasked with screening patients using thermal temperature guns, picking out people with fevers as potential COVID-19 patients.
The current prototype, El Komy’s second, can take temperatures, collect mouth swabs for testing, and recognize when people aren’t wearing masks.
The swab used by the robot is the same PCR diagnostic test used in nasal swabs, though the robot collects them from the throat, which is also acceptable.