Egypt’s first robot to serve in isolation hospitals

Ahmed Morsy , Wednesday 10 Jun 2020

The robot is equipped with a camera and a microphone to facilitate communication with patients

Egyptian-made robot
A still photo of the locally-produced robot inside one of Egypt's isolation hospitals

Mohamed Abdel-Rahman, the manufacturer of the first Egyptian robot dedicated to service at isolation hospitals, said the robot aims to reduce contact between medical staff and coronavirus patients. 

He told state-owned Al-Oula satellite channel over the phone on Wednesday that the locally-produced robot can provide greater protection for medical personnel.

"The robot can carry heavy weights and can be used to distribute medicines, food, clothing and medical supplies to patients in isolation hospitals," Abdel-Rahman said.

The robot is equipped with a camera and a microphone, allowing wireless communication with patients, the manufacturer said.

"The camera helps the robot controller to move and steer it in different directions while being isolated from the patient," he said, adding that it can be wirelessly steered up to 1,000 metres outdoors, and up to 250 metres inside the building.

On Tuesday, Egypt's Doctors Syndicate said that over 50 Egyptian physicians passed away as a result of contracting COVID-19.

Abdel-Rahman said he has solely worked on the robot and it took him a month to finish the planning, industrial drawings and implementation. One challenge he faced was the lack of some components in the local market.

"I used the scooter and hoverboard's motor to run the robot and the robot’s body and most of its components are Egyptian-made," he said, noting that he has focused on its functional efficiency more than the external appearance which in the coming period would get more attention to be improved.

The robot's charging process takes an hour and a half and the full charge allows it to work from six to eight hours, he says, so each isolation hospital needs two robots at least.

The coming period will also witness the increase of robot production to provide it for the majority of isolation hospitals, he said.

Since 21 May all 320 general hospitals in Egypt, have begun receiving patients suffering from COVID-19 to lift the burden off fever and chest hospitals, which have been receiving coronavirus patients since the outbreak hit the country in mid-February.

Egypt reported 1,385 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, bringing the total number to 36,829 nationwide. 

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