Can Robots Be Used in The Fight Against Ebola?
Ebola has been responsible for taking a number lives and the outbreak should be dealt with before it takes more innocent lives. But what can we do to fight Ebola?
Ebola is an unconventional sickness and unconventional means are required to help us in the fight. However, what if I tell you Robots are joining us in the battle against this horrible disease? White House wants to do exactly that.
Ken Goldberg who is UC Berkeley professor, believes that robotic technology can help us in the fight and can keep humans out of harms way by performing certain tasks.
Science and Technology Policy office of White House has given the go-ahead to Goldberg and other researchers from various universities/research centers to come up with ideas of using robots against Ebola.
However, Goldberg stated that robots have their own limitations and should not be considered a magical solution.
“People have an expectation that the robots are going to go in and do something dramatic,” Goldberg explained. “The capabilities are limited right now. There’s a lot of research that needs to be done. We just want to set expectations. This is not going to save the day. These are some tools that we hope will be useful in both the near term and long term.”
Still, the question arises here that in what ways these robots can be used to help us out.
Goldberg believes that they can be used in two ways.
Firstly, they can be pretty helpful in allowing doctors to communicate with their patients remotely. Robots with cameras and telepresence can be used to diagnose the patient without being in the same place.
This can help prevent infections and keep doctors out of harms way.
This type of robotic use is not something new as they are already being used for this purpose in some institutions.
The second use that he believes is possible, is to use robots for the purpose of cleaning up and decontamination. There is one issue with this type of use though. Robots will get contaminated themselves and there is no effective way to clean them up.
According to Goldberg: “We don’t know, actually, how to sterilize them. There’s too many intricate, moving parts. So essentially, you’d have to throw the robot out afterward.”
People should not expect this to happen anytime soon and it may take many years before all of this is implemented. Until then, we have to find another way to deal with this crisis.
Source: CBS News