These Delhi teenagers have created a robot to minimise human contact during coronavirus pandemic

A group of teenagers from Delhi has built a robot to protect healthcare workers by reducing their contact with the novel coronavirus patients.

The coronavirus infected patients are increasing across the world with each passing day. Globally, the numbers have risen above 14 million with about 82,421 deaths. Volunteers, healthcare workers, and researchers from different parts of the world are coming together to fight the pandemic in every way possible.

In India, several selfless volunteers are providing migrant workers with freshly cooked food and supplies, and are also helping them with masks and sanitisers, at a reasonable cost. With hygiene being the need of the hour, companies are also using contactless methods to curb the spread of the virus.

With respect to contactless functioning, a group of teenagers from Delhi has built a robot to help reduce the contact between healthcare workers and COVID-19 patients.

The students — Nishant Chandna (15), Saurav Maheshkar (16), and Aditya Dubey (17) from Delhi — devised the idea and put it into action post the declaration of a 21-day nationwide lockdown by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. While Aditya was the brain behind the concept, Nishant built the robot, and Saurav took care of the software aspects of it.

"Our principal uploaded a video on Facebook about our school's robotics team and one of their inventions that won a national-level prize. She encouraged the students to invent something like that again, which could be of use during the COVID-19 pandemic," Nishant told EdexLive, explaining why they took up the initiative. 

He added, "So, the three of us came up with the idea of a robot which can help healthcare workers and patients. We ensured that we maintained social distancing while working on this project.”

The robot ‘Prithvi’ allows a smart tablet to be linked to it in order to enable video conferencing between doctors and patients. The team also plans to add a temperature gun feature to the robot to further minimise contact with the patients.

Prithvi (Image: ThePrint)

“About 50 to 52 cases of coronavirus in India are of doctors who were infected while treating patients. We wanted to design something that would help protect those at the frontline battling this illness. So, we put our heads together and designed this robot,” Chandna told ThePrint.

The prototype uses cardboards, a programmable board, and basic motors. The raw materials, as well as the construction, costs less than Rs 5,000. However, if there is a mass requirement, a sturdier build is necessary for the robot’s endurance.

Earlier in March, a Kerala-based startup Asimov Robotics had built two robots for spreading awareness about the COVID-19 pandemic, and to distribute masks and sanitisers to the public. These robots were stationed at public places such as the Kochi International Airport to interact with travellers who might be susceptible to the virus.

(Edited by Suman Singh)

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