Robot dogs made by American engineering and robotics company Boston Dynamics are helping doctors assess COVID-19 patients in hospitals. The robot, known as Spot, is mounted with an iPad and enables health workers to reduce contact with potentially contagious patients. As the robot visits the wards, doctors and patients can interact via video calls on the iPad.
Spot is currently in use at Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital, where it acts as a telehealth platform for healthcare providers to triage patients remotely. Boston Dynamics is now planning to add more features such as the capability to take body temperature, pulse and access oxygen saturation on the robot. They also hope that Spot can assist in killing viruses in rooms which require decontamination by setting up a UV-C light on it. The four legged dog robots are able to open doors, walk on uneven terrain, climb stairs and avoid obstacles.
Spot® robot image courtesy of Boston Dynamics, Inc