The "First" robotics program, the Hebrew Reali School in Haifa and Technion University joined forces to produce a robot in order to protect health care workers from being exposed to the coronavirus while treating patients.
The robot, presented last week to the Rambam Medical Center staff, carries necessary equipment between the protective room to doctors in the isolation ward at the hospital, according to Walla news. Doctors control the robot with a joystick or smartphone application while using cameras on the robot to navigate.
The Galaxia robotics program at the Haifa high school worked with the Technion to develop the robot within a week, after the CEO of Rambam, Dr. Michael Halberthal, raised the issue of exposure to the virus in a meeting with his predecessor, Prof. Rafi Beyar, president of Rambam's International Friends Associations, and the vice president of the Technion for External Relations and Resource Development.
"If the robot passes its 'baptism of fire' at Rambam we can, in a relatively short amount of time, develop additional robots for Rambam and similar departments in other Israeli hospitals. Additional students from "First" programs throughout Israel will take part in the effort," Prof. Alon Wolf, head of the "First" program in Israel, told Walla.
The next step will be to add a communications system to the robot with a livestream to doctors. "In the future, I hope we will add abilities to aid in the treatment itself such as pulse and blood oxygen monitors," said Prof. Gil Yudilevitch, director of final projects at the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering at Technion.
Thousands of medical staff in Israel have been placed in quarantine or fallen ill due to the coronavirus, making protecting health care workers a top priority in the fight against the outbreak.