Agartala: While the fight against coronavirus pandemic continues, an assistant professor from Tripura University has stepped up by devising ‘COVID-19 WARMOT’, which means a robot’s war during corona to help health workers avoid physical contact with patients.
Speaking with EastMojo, Harjeet Nath, the assistant professor of chemical and polymer engineering department from Tripura University said while everyone was donating for the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund (CMRF) to support the government in fighting the pandemic, he decided to use this talent and develop a device to support the frontline workers.
“My friends were donating for the (CMRF) but I decided to use my skill in technology and develop a device using the available spare parts in my locality”, Nath said.
He used three motors, two rechargeable lead-acid batteries, transmitter and receiver and USD output to develop COVID-19 WARBOT within a week by spending Rs 25,000.
“The device can carry food, medicines and other essential requirements to COVID-19 positive patients without human intervention. Probably this is first of its kind in Tripura and Northeast region”, Nath added.
Further, he said that the robot has an inbuilt two-way communication system along with a WiFi-controlled camera with microphone and speaker to help the health workers interact with the patients whenever required.
“The device weighs around 30 kg and it is capable of taking a weight up to 15 kg and it has a range of 15-20 metres. The device can work for an hour and it has rechargeable batteries of about 155-watt which can be recharged in three-four hours”, Nath said.
Nath said that the device was developed in a bid to help the doctors and nurses to stop their frequent visit to the infected patients and help the health workers contain COVID-19 spread.
“I hope the health staff would be benefited, the health workers tackling with the COVID-19 patients risking their life for the people of the state”, Nath added.
The assistant professor has also written a letter to the deputy chief minister Ratan Lal Nath, who is also the science and technology department and education minister along with the departmental secretaries with the details and specifications of the device.
“I have written a letter to the minister informing him about my device and how it can be used to fight the COVID-19. However, no response was made from there end”, said the assistant professor.
Nath’s wife who is a former school teacher’s also helped him in developing the device within a week using whatever available spare parts he had available.
Reacting on this Ranjit Das, Medical Superintendent of state-run Govind Ballabh Panth (GBP) hospital, said that the robot can be used but for that it would require to undergo a test under the technical expert committee.
“There are many other things which needs to be done apart from supplying essential medicines and food. However, if the assistant professor contacts with the administration we can consider putting it through a technical expert committee”, Das said.
“We can’t say if this can be used in our infrastructure or not yet. There are a lot of things doctors and nurses would still need to do like collect swab samples, blood samples, push injections, run drips etc. However, such devices are being used in a few foreign nations. If the innovator contacts us, we shall consider putting it through our technical expert committee”, he said.