Several Nigerian students have created robots that are expected to help treat COVID-19 patients in hospitals. This robot can be controlled remotely, thereby reducing exposure to the COVID-19 virus from patients to medical personnel.
This robot is equipped with the ability to measure temperature, transport drugs and medical personnel can communicate with patients through cameras and screens.
The robot is in the form of a cabinet with wheels that are controlled remotely and is nicknamed “MAIRABOT”.
In one demonstration, a school nurse fills MAIRABOT with drugs, while a student uses a controller and glasses to look through the camera, then moves the machine through the corridor and into a mock isolation room to scan a student’s forehead for his temperature.
“I hope MAIRABOT can reduce the risks faced by these health workers — I want health workers to be safer,” said Nabila Abbas.
The robotics team at Glisten International Academy in the Nigerian capital, Abuja, started to collaborate online with MAIRABOT, then met to complete a project in their lab.
However, MAIRABOT, which took about three months to build, is still in its early stages.
During the demonstration, the doors to the isolation room must be left open, and the robots can only carry drugs. So, the patient in question will take the medicine himself, while the nurse watches the camera.
“We are currently refining it,” said David Adeniyi, the teacher who oversees the robotics team.
MAIRABOT is expected to be commercially available one day. On the other hand, Abbas believes that the use of robots in the medical industry will not stop just for handling COVID-19.
“Other infectious diseases can also be treated with MAIRABOT, such as Ebola, Lassa fever and all these infectious viruses,” he said.