A multi-purpose service robot ‘Cutebot’ has been developed by Dr B R Ambedkar National Institute of Technology, Jalandhar for multiple uses, including in a hospital environment as well as by security agencies for surveillance. The robot is also enabled with a wheeled mobile platform. Doctors and medical staff can interact with patients of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases through the audio-visual screen of the robot while sitting in their rooms as it is equipped with a camera and voice communication system, an official statement said.
They can help in guiding patients on medicines and also deliver refreshments in the isolation wards. For security personnel, it can help in surveillance and in some other required areas, it said.
The robot has been designed jointly by Kuldeep Singh Nagla, Associate Professor and a specialist in robotics and automation, and Professor L K Awasthi, director of the institute.
It was recently unveiled by Chairperson of Board of Governors of NIT Jalandhar, Subhash Chandra Ralhan here. The robot can carry around 15 kilogram weight in the hospital environment besides doing some other jobs. Nagla said Cutebot can be controlled both through the internet and wire-based joy stick within a radius of 25-30 meters. It moves at a variable speed with a maximum of 22 meters per minute.
It can easily maneuver between two hospital beds. After continuously working for a minimum of two hours, the robot can be recharged. It can also adopt an independent UV light disinfector on its platform, he said, as per the statement. Besides, it can further be used as an electronic cart to carry garbage, hospital waste and other materials in the hospitals. It can also be used as a station inside the hospital wards to monitor the activities around the patient.
The same robot can be used in domestic environments to attend to elders or disabled persons, among others. “Interestingly, the robot can easily be modified to control from several hundred kilometres through the internet just by changing the software. This up-gradation may prove to be suitable for security agencies while working in operational fields,” Nagla said. “Costing between ₹2 to ₹2.5 lakh after mass production, the Cutebot is unique because of its low cost as compared to other such robots available in foreign markets,” Prof Awasthi said. He said it can rotate its head, which is a screen, 360 degrees to communicate. He said the institute has transferred the technology to a Gujarat-based company for its mass production and commercialisation.