COVID-19 robotics sources: concepts for roboticists, customers, and educators

Thessaloniki, Greece – April 6, 2020: Drone with recorded message informs residents of Thessaloniki to remain dwelling to be shielded from the coronavirus.

Robots might have a task to play in COVID-19, whether or not it’s automating laboratory analysis, serving to with logistics, disinfecting hospitals, schooling, or permitting carers, colleagues or family members to attach utilizing telepresence. But many of those options are nonetheless in improvement or early deployment. The hope is that accelerating these translations might make a distinction.

This web page goals to compile some sources for roboticists who’re in a position to assist, customers who want robots for COVID-19 functions, and individuals who wish to find out about robotics whereas on lockdown.


This isn’t an exhaustive useful resource web page, and we’ll repeatedly be updating the content material. Please ship tips to sabine.hauert@robohub.org. Examine AIhub.org for the same useful resource web page associated to AI.

Many individuals are barely getting by, juggling work at home and caring for household, or different worries, please don’t really feel like you ought to be doing any of the issues listed beneath.

For individuals trying to make use of robots

Science Robotics has a helpful commentary highlighting methods through which roboticists may help, written by among the prime brass within the discipline (Guang-Zhong Yang, Bradley J. Nelson, Robin R. Murphy, Howie Choset, Henrik Christensen, Steven H. Collins, Paolo Dario, Ken Goldberg, Koji Ikuta, Neil Jacobstein, Danica Kragic, Russell H. Taylor, Marcia McNutt). The 4 areas highlighted are scientific care (telemedicine and decontamination), logistics (supply and dealing with of contaminated waste), reconnaissance (monitoring compliance with voluntary quarantines), and continuity of labor and upkeep of socioeconomic features (manufacturing).

Though not exhaustive, listed here are some methods robots are getting used for COVID-19 efforts.

UVD Robots’ UV-Disinfection Robotic.

UBTECH AI robots providing a serving to hand in COVID-19 treating hospitals.

Kuka robotic doing computerized blood sampling.

And a narrative a few Stanford lab doing robotic Covid-19 testing.

Startship applied sciences supply robots.

Drones to strengthen lockdown and disinfect.

Digital museum excursions utilizing telepresence robots.

Social robots to connect with family members in nursing properties.

Robots powering the mass shopping for at Ocado and Amazon.

For individuals trying to study robotics

It’s possible you’ll be on the lookout for actions for your self, or to your children. Right here’s a brief checklist of pointers, beginning with sources for the youthful generations.

iRobot has some good instructional robots like Root (that you’d must buy) and related curriculum. It’s value testing their different free STEM sources. I actually like their exercise guide, which you’ll be able to print and use.

If you may make purchases, take a look at the LEGO Mindstorm (~300 USD) or a Thymio (~200 USD), two nice kits to get your children programming robots. I’m at the moment taking part in with a sphero mini (~50 USD) with my 2-year-old.

Study among the robotics competitions for college students, together with FIRST and RoboCup, a few of these have a digital league.

It’s Nationwide Robotics Week within the US, take a look at their deliberate actions and sources, though a number of occasions have been canceled as a consequence of social distancing.

The EPSRC Robotics & Autonomous Methods Community is operating a college competitors for teenagers to attract or write tales about robots.

Get an Arduino or Raspberry Pi equipment and begin taking part in round with sensors, motors, and easy robotic designs.

Be taught ROS and learn how to program robots on The Assemble – Robotic Ignite Academy. Simulations run within the cloud, so that you don’t have to fret about and software program setup issues. Extra info on their efforts with on-line studying throughout COVID-19 right here.

Watch a web-based robotics course on edX, coursera, or Udacity.

You can even study concerning the newest happenings in robotics immediately from the highest conferences, as many have now gone on-line. The Human-Robotic Interplay convention for instance was final week and has been that includes movies on youtube.

For roboticists trying to assist

Present recommendation
A number of governments have put out requires experience and concepts, together with in robotics. The UK has arrange a UK Authorities COVID-19 Outbreak Professional Database, the EU has the AI-ROBOTICS vs COVID-19 initiative of the European AI Alliance, and EU Digital Innovation Hubs similar to DIH-Hero, focussed on healthcare, are gathering concepts and experience.

Do analysis
Funding companies are putting in emergency grants for Covid-19 associated work. This Science article outlines the US Nationwide Science Basis’s efforts to make use of the NSF RAPID scheme to fund COVID-19 tasks. UK Analysis and Innovation (UKRI) has an open name for analysis and innovation concepts to deal with COVID-19, in addition to an Innovate UK name for business-led innovation in response to world disruption aimed toward corporations. Nationwide Analysis Canada has a COVID-19 programme. The Swiss Nationwide Science Basis had a particular name on Coronovirus. Germany presents grants for Multidisciplinary Analysis into Epidemics and Pandemics in Response to the Outbreak of SARS-CoV-2. Comparable applications may be discovered in lots of international locations, normally by trying on the governmental funding company web site, together with in Austria, Belgium, Brazil, India. I’d welcome different tips to particular funding calls from elsewhere on this planet that may very well be used for robotics developments – particularly from Asia – as language boundaries have made this info troublesome to seek out.

Be a part of a hackathon
Hackathons are popping up around the globe, with some centered on coding and tech, examples embody the UNESCO CodeTheCurve Hackathon, the MIT COVID-19 Problem: Beat the Pandemic, #CodeVSCovid19, the Covid-19 World Hackathon. The World Well being Group (WHO) Regional Workplace for Africa hosted its first digital hackathon bringing collectively 100 main innovators from throughout sub-Saharan Africa in a bid to pioneer inventive native options to the COVID-19 pandemic and tackle important gaps within the regional response. Within the EU EUvsVirus Hackathon goals to develop progressive options and overcome coronavirus-related challenges.

Repurpose robotics abilities to provide PPE and ventilators
Many robotics labs are kitted with workshops which have 3D printers, laser cutters, electronics, and pumps (because of the delicate robotics crowd), helpful to construct customized that will come in useful to provide PPE or prototype medical provides like ventilators.

You may verify right here for the NIHR COVID-19 PPE Problem . In case you have a 3D printer, you may assist print shields at 3D Crowd UK, or issues like hand-free door openers. Examine the Open Supply COVID19 Medical Provides fb group, or Useful Engineering . There are additionally quite a few open ventilator tasks, together with the e-vent, or OxVent, though there’s a problem in searching for approval for his or her use.

Learn the literature
ArXiv launched new COVID-19 fast search
The search outcomes are sorted by date, with the newest papers on the prime of the checklist. You may entry the search right here.

You can even learn COVID-19 literature from IEEE without cost right here.

Hear from the robotics and AI specialists
Try the weekly Covid-19 Robots and Us organised by Silicon Valley Robotics and the CITRIS Individuals and Robots Initiative.

Watch the Stanford HAI – COVID-19 and AI: A Digital Convention.

Watch ELLIS towards Covid-19 – I can’t embed the video as a result of they haven’t made it public – however the hyperlink is right here.

I hope this was useful, please ship me any pointers so as to add to this checklist at sabine.hauert@robohub.org or on twitter @sabinehauert.

Sabine Hauert

President & Co-founder

Sabine Hauert is President of Robohub and Assistant Professor on the Bristol Robotics Laboratory

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