South Central Railway Develops Robotic Device for COVID Patient Care

The South Central Railway(SCR) has developed a robotic device to strengthen hospital medicare in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak. Named Rail-Bot or simply R-Bot, the device has sensor-based features to read the body temperature of patients and transmit the same for display on the mobile phone. It is capable of raising an alarm in case of any abnormal high in the temperature reading to alert the medics attending to the patient.

The device is operated through a unique mobile application developed as part of the innovation supported by the Wi-Fi facility, said a press release from SCR. It was developed by a team led by Hem Singh Banoth, additional divisional railway manager, Hyderabad division of SCR.

The R-Bot has a video camera with a Pan-and-Tilt function for real-time transmission of visuals. It also has two-way audio and video communication with a recording facility to facilitate smooth interaction between a patient and the doctor.

The device uses infrared technology with an emergency night lamp and night vision to enable communication even in complete darkness. According to SCR, the device holds 8 direction motion controls with observation avoidance sensors and motion direction to circumvent any foreign object in its way.

It can be operated by using an Android mobile app and radio frequency remote controller. With a speed of 1 kmph, it has a load-carrying capacity of 80 kg. The technology lets the device efficiently and continuously function on a single charge of battery for 6 hours. The General Manager of SCR, Gajanan Mallya termed innovation as good achievement to strengthen medical care management.

According to SCR, the technology has undergone extensive trials and demonstration before being deployed for use at the Railway Hospital, in Lallaguda, Secunderabad.

At the hospital, the R-Bot is being used to provide medicines, medical accessories, and to serve food to the patients without any need for physical contact. This enables the doctors, nurses and other support staff to stay away from the risk of contracting the infection. Officials clarified that there are no COVID patients being treated in the Lallaguda Railway Hospital and that the device is developed keeping in mind the requirements and purpose in the long term.