CSIR-CMERI in Durgapur has developed an automated cart, which works extremely well to move food and medicines to COVID-19 patients, enabling healthcare workers to keep physical distancing.
Named 'Hospital Care Assistive Robotic Device’(HCARD), the trolley which includes several drawers which can be remotely opened and closed is manoeuvred from a control station at the nurses’ booth. The control station involves a computer and other linked electronic devices that are in charge of the movement of the HCARD.
The automated cart can be fitted with an audio-visual communication device through which instructions are relayed to the receiver of the contents of the cart.
Apart from sending food and medicines to patients’ rooms, the trolley can be utilized to send personal protective equipment to healthcare personnel to arrive for a shift, or to move files and testing equipment in one person’s desk to some other without the people needing to come into contact with one another
“The cost of these devices is significantly less than Rs 5 lakh and the weight isn't a lot more than 80 kg, so that it is easy to use and affordable for healthcare facilities,” Professor Harish Hirani, director of CSIR-CMERI (Council of Scientific and Industrial Research - Central Mechanical Engineering Research Institute) was quoted as saying by PTI.
A spokesperson of the institute said the device can function in a variety of 0.5 km and includes a battery life of four hours. If the federal government shows interest, the institute is likely to explore commercial production, the spokesperson indicated.