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    Chulalongkorn University Delivers “Pinto” Robots to COVID-19 Hotspots across Thailand

    The Faculty of Engineering and Chulalongkorn University Alumni Association has dispatched 200 “Pinto” robots and over 1,000 “Mirror” long-distance communication systems to the areas affected by the new COVID-19 outbreak.

    Prof. Supot Teachavorasinskun, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, and Asst. Prof. Witaya Wannasuphoprasit, Director of the International School of Engineering and Head of the Robotics and Medical Support Equipment Team for COVID-19 pandemic (CURoboCOVID), joined the presentation ceremony on Monday, December 28, 2020, at the Engineering Centennial Memorial Building, Chulalongkorn University.

    Prof. Supot recounted how during the first COVID-19 outbreak, the Engineering faculty dispatched “Pinto” robots and “Mirror” long-distance communication systems to the hospitals with COVID-19 patients and found that the robots were helpful in drastically reducing risks to health workers.

    CURoboCOVID can now deliver Pinto robots and Mirror communication systems across the nation to hospitals that sent in requests.  Also, the Engineering faculty has dispatched more units to the field hospitals in Samut Sakhon, Ratchaburi, and Nakorn Pathom in order to be better prepared for the second outbreak, reduce the infection risk on health workers and increase medical care efficiency.

    “To date, we have delivered 200 “Pinto” robots and over 1,000 “Mirror” long-distance communication systems to over 140 hospitals across Thailand,”  Professor Supot added.

    Pinto Quarantine Delivery Robots and Mirror long-distance communications robots created by the CURoboCOVID team, a collaboration between Chula Engineering, Mi Workspace, HG Robotics, and Obodroid, were developed to help medical personnel during the COVID-19 outbreak. Field testing and real data collection were conducted at more than 10 hospitals to study the applications and requirements needed.

    The main mission of Pintos is to deliver food, medicine, and medical supplies to patients. However, several added benefits have turned up. The robots on carts are remotely controlled, thus reducing risks for the health workers. Moreover, the medical team can monitor the patients, communicate with them remotely at all times via the monitors installed on the units, and help reduce the need for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

    Mirror, the quarantine telepresence system, is a medical assistant system to help health workers in handling the COVID-19 pandemic. The mirrored communications help doctors and nurses to communicate and observe the patient’s symptoms, without the need to approach. This helps reduce the risk of infection for health workers, decreases the need for PPEs when health workers change working zones, and considerably lessens the anxiety for both health workers and patients. Moreover, Pinto and Mirror robots can be sanitized, are easy to install and use, do not require any other systems, and are movable.

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