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Remote-controlled Robot Deployed at Egypt Hospital to Take Covid Tests, Warn Those Without Mask

A volunteer is examined by Cira 3, a remote-controlled robot that runs tests on suspected coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patients to limit the human exposure to the virus, amid a second wave of infections in Tanta, Egypt, November 18, 2020. Picture taken November 18, 2020. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany.

A volunteer is examined by Cira 3, a remote-controlled robot that runs tests on suspected coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patients to limit the human exposure to the virus, amid a second wave of infections in Tanta, Egypt, November 18, 2020. Picture taken November 18, 2020. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany.

The robot has a human-like face and head and robotic arms, can take blood tests, perform echocardiograms and X-rays, and display the results to patients on a screen attached to its chest.

With Egypt facing a second coronavirus wave, an inventor is trialling a remote-control robot which can test for COVID-19, take the temperature of patients, and warn them if they don't wear masks at a private hospital north of Cairo.

Mahmoud el-Komy, who designed the robot, called Cira-03, says it can help limit exposure to infection and prevent the transmission of the virus.

His creation, which has a human-like face and head and robotic arms, can take blood tests, perform echocardiograms and X-rays, and display the results to patients on a screen attached to its chest.

"I tried to make the robot seem more human, so that the patient doesn't fear it. So they don't feel like a box is walking in on them," he said.

Also Read: For Covid-19 Patients at This Noida Hospital, Robot 'Mitra' Becomes the Friend in Need
A volunteer is examined by Cira 3, a remote-controlled robot that runs tests on suspected coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patients to limit the human exposure to the virus, amid a second wave of infections in Tanta, Egypt, November 18, 2020. Picture taken November 18, 2020. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany.

"There has been a positive response from patients. They saw the robot and weren't afraid. On the contrary, there is more trust in this because the robot is more precise than humans."

Cira-03 tests a patient for coronavirus by cupping their chin and then extending an arm with a swab into their mouth.

Abu Bakr El-Mihi, head of a private hospital where the robot is being tested, said they were using the robot to take the temperature of anyone suspected of having COVID-19.

Back in India, to protect the health workers from COVID-19 infection, the East Coast Railways Central Hospital in Odisha has been using a Medical Robot called MeD ROBO to provide medicines, food and remote assistance to patients in the coronavirus ward, without any need for physical contact.

Also Read: Robots are Serving Food and Medicines to Covid-19 Patients at Odisha's Railways Hospital

The MeD ROBO is operated through a unique mobile app that has been developed as part of the innovation, supported by the WiFi facility, an ECoR official said.

The robot's sensor can read a patient's body temperature and transmit the same for display on the smartphone. In case of any abnormal high-temperature reading, the MeD ROBO is capable of raising an alarm so as to alert the hospital staff attending to the patients.

(With Reuters inputs)