Sberbank on how robots help oppose coronavirus pandemic worldwide

Mar 27, 2020
  • In its Robots vs. Viruses report Sberbank Robotics Lab sums up international efforts of robotics engineers fighting COVID-19 pandemic to help domestic specialists tailor their own solutions
  • Report exemplifies the use of disinfection robots, autonomous delivery robots, manipulators for medical samples, 3D printing devices, and another tech
  • Sberbank Robotics Laboratory independently works on mobile autonomous robots that could be used in healthcare very soon

March 27, 2020, Moscow — Sberbank has released a report called Robots vs. Viruses, where Sberbank Robotics Laboratory aggregated and summed up the international efforts of robotics engineers from China, the U.S., Italy, and other nations on how to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. The study describes the technology that is already being used or could potentially be applied to combat the virus and prevent it from spreading.

The Bank publishes this review to facilitate the consolidation of research engineers and help specialists develop their own effective solutions based on what their colleagues had come up with and taking into account the peculiarities of domestic healthcare. Sberbank Robotics Laboratory also independently works on mobile autonomous robots that could be used in healthcare very soon.

According to the report, COVID-19 has already led to an increase in practical interest in robots, unmanned aerial vehicles and artificial intelligence in controlling them. These solutions can help cope with the massive shortage of personnel in health care, production and supply chains, facilitate social distancing, diagnostics and treatment, streamline labor and improve the safety of doctors and personnel involved in the disinfection of disease hotspots.

Examples of such solutions are disinfection robots using ultraviolet radiation or those that spray disinfectants; autonomous robots for the delivery of food, medicine and necessities to isolated patients; manipulators for ultrasound, smear and acoustic examination with a stethoscope; 3D printing devices allowing you to print things like medical respirators right in the hospital and not wait for their delivery, and so on.

If things with the pandemic go south, taking into account the limitations on international supplies and the intent of equipment and disinfectants manufacturers to saturate the domestic markets of their countries, there is a high probability Russia will face shortages of diagnostic and treatment equipment, disinfection equipment and materials, the report says. Therefore, it is necessary to act in advance.

Albert Yefimov, Head of the Robotics Laboratory, Sberbank,

“The coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic has become a catalyst for the creation of a large number of technological solutions, the only task of which is to save human lives. Medical doctors and biologists are at the forefront of this struggle. However, engineers in countries that have taken the brunt of the disaster are looking for solutions that can make healthcare a little more efficient, allowing them to put their precious energy and money into the most important thing, i.e. curing people.

In our Robotics Lab, we study the solutions of engineers who create technologies to help fight against the pandemic practically as they get released. The issued review summarizes this experience and suggests where it could be applied in our country. The key trend is the most reliable adaptation of existing solutions that can be used in healthcare, for example, for disinfection. However, the pandemic has also posed new problems that robotics researchers will solve in the future, like remote manipulations with patients.”

The Robots vs. Viruses report is available here.