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Robots deployed to help fight coronavirus contagion

A robot that disinfects negative pressure rooms is seen at the Seoul Medical Center in northeastern Seoul on Friday. (Yonhap)
A robot that disinfects negative pressure rooms is seen at the Seoul Medical Center in northeastern Seoul on Friday. (Yonhap)

Robots are helping doctors treat coronavirus patients at the Seoul Medical Center, the Seoul Metropolitan Government said Friday.

There are three types of robots at the hospital: One conducts temperature checks on visitors, one sterilizes negative pressure rooms and the other transports clothes and other goods to a disposal site after use by medical staff and patients.

Two robots of each model are deployed at the state-run facility, which has been designated as a COVID-19 treatment center, said the city government.

The disinfectant robots were provided free of charge by the Korea Institute for Robot Industry Advancement, and private companies donated the other two models.

Robots that measure visitors’ temperature with thermographic cameras are placed at the medical center’s entrance and in the lobby.

Visitors who show symptoms are asked to get checked out at a nearby screening clinic, said the Seoul City government.

An automatic motion sensor also provides hand sanitizer without users having to press a button.

The disinfectant robots used in the negative pressure rooms have two functions, absorbing oxygen and emitting eco-friendly ultraviolet and LED light.

According to the city government, disinfectant robots can be used at any time of day because they do not spray chemicals and have special arms capable of sanitizing blind spots.

The Seoul Digital Foundation, the Korea Institute for Robot Industry Advancement and the Seoul Medical Center signed an agreement Thursday to work together to contain the spread of the virus.

By Kim Bo-gyung (lisakim425@heraldcorp.com)
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