Tripura professor builds robot to help Covid-19 frontline warriors
With the motive to reduce possibilities of contamination of the frontline workers in the hospitals while tackling Covid-19 patients, one young assistant professor in Tripura has made a device that can serve food, medicines and other essential items to the patients without human intervention.
If this technique is implemented, Tripura will likely to be the first in the North-Eastern region to use robots in Covid-19 centres during the pandemic.
Instead of donating in government relief funds, Harjeet Nath, assistant professor of Tripura University’s Chemical and Polymer Engineering Department, developed this device using mostly available spare parts including three motors, two rechargeable lead acid batteries, transmitter and receiver and USB output. He named it ‘Covid-19 WARBOT’.
In the robot, he had installed a two-way communication device in the form of a Wi-Fi-controlled camera with inbuilt microphone and speaker to help both the doctors or nurses and patients to communicate directly and that too, remaining at a safe place. It took him a week to make the device for which he spent nearly ₹25,000.
“This technique can reduce frequent visits of the doctors or nurses to the infected patients. The doctors or nurses can get view of the patients through a mobile phone or computer present with them and make direct communication with them. The patient can only listen to the doctors and act accordingly. I hope this robot can help the doctors and nurses working in Covid-19 centres here. Also I made this choice when the number of Covid-19 patients in Tripura reached 100,” said Nath.
Currently, he is doing research in waste to energy utilisation and water purification areas.
Explaining the functions of the robot, Nath told that it can carry load of around 10-15 kilograms of materials and its operation range is 15-20 metres. It can work continuously for nearly an hour as the total power of the rechargeable batteries is nearly 135 Watt and it will take three-four hours to get charged.
Watching online the utilisation of robots in the Covid-19 hospitals in different countries, Nath got the idea to make such a device in the North-Eastern state. “I am from engineering background and so, making this device was pretty easy on my part. My wife, a former school teacher, also helped me a lot in this case. The only problem I faced that I had to depend on locally available spare parts as Tripura doesn’t have good gadgets to prepare more sophisticated versions of the device,” he said.
When asked whether the state government is aware of this technique, Nath told, “I mailed details about the robot on May 15. And I am yet to hear from them. However, I am planning for filing a patent very soon.”