Say hello to Dr. Spot. The dog-like robot from Boston Dynamics is the latest tool in the battle against the Corona virus. The four-footed robot is designed to support and relieve medical staff at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.
Boston Dynamics, which is known for its developments in the field of robotics, would like to use its machines to protect doctors and nurses from too frequent contact with possible COVID-19 patients and help to further reduce the already scarce stock of medical protective equipment.
Spot has now had its first test run at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, the company announced. Equipped with an iPad and a two-way radio, Dr. Spot gave telemedicine a whole new meaning. It enabled hospital staff to communicate with patients without having to fight through long queues of patients.
In the next step, Boston Dynamics wants to expand the potential with its robots and take over other necessary tasks, such as measuring temperature and oxygen saturation. Initial field tests and experiments are already underway.
“We have been in dialogue with researchers who use thermal camera technology to measure body temperature and calculate respiratory rate. We’ve also applied externally-developed logic to externally-mounted RGB cameras to capture changes in blood vessel contraction to measure pulse rate. We are evaluating methods for measuring oxygen saturation”
Spot is only one of many robots, which are becoming more and more important especially in times of pandemic. From cleaning UV light robots to telepresence for the administration of medication, more and more machines are in use worldwide to support doctors and nurses in their daily tasks.
To enable everyone to create their own individual medical application and use it with Spot, Boston Dynamics is making Dr. Spot hardware and software available via GitHub as open source designs to encourage other robotics companies, as well as medical institutions, to see and use the robot as an important tool in the current crisis situation.
Post picture: Boston Dynamics