This article in Texas A&M Today examines recent research into how the pandemic has increased robot usage. In most cases, the robots were already developed but not widely accepted—but that’s changed as the pandemic has made the robot advantages far more obvious and important.
Robots in hospitals are gathering patient vital signs, disinfecting halls and rooms, delivering food and prescriptions to patients and test samples to labs, all of which better protects health care workers while increasing productivity. This article delivers three lessons and plenty of examples:
“Hopefully, COVID-19 will accelerate the adoption of existing robots and their adaptation to new niches, but it might also lead to new robots. Laboratory and supply chain automation is emerging as an overlooked opportunity. Automating the slow COVID-19 test processing that relies on a small set of labs and specially trained workers would eliminate some of the delays currently being experienced in many parts of the U.S.
Automation is not particularly exciting, but just like the unglamorous disinfecting robots in use now, it is a valuable application. If government and industry have finally learned the lessons from previous disasters, more mundane robots will be ready to work side by side with the health care workers on the front lines when the next pandemic arrives.”
Overview by Tim Sloane, VP, Payments Innovation at Mercator Advisory Group