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Combating coronavirus: From drones to Humanoid robots to mobile apps, how India is using technology

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New Delhi, Mar 31: The coronavirus outbreak which has killed over 35,000 people with most of them being in Europe, technology tools are vital weapons for effectively monitoring and controlling disease outbreaks, as humans simply cannot operate and match the scale and speed at what AI powered machines can operate.

India has intensified measures in combating the spread of the pandemic - using drones, Humanoid robots and several other mobile applications.

Combating coronavirus: From drones to Humanoid robots to mobile apps, how India is using technology

Since the outbreak started, more than 1,200 cases have been reported in India and 44 people have died so far.

Taking cue from China, India is using drones to keep an eye on people to make sure that they adhere to the 3-week long nationwide lockdown.

Drones:

Drones are also being deployed as a means to fight the deadly coronavirus pandemic by many authorities in several states. The drones are being used to sprinkle disinfectants at places that are more vulnerable to the virus.

#Stayathome and send us your selfie

In Karnataka, the municipal corporation of Bengaluru (BBMP) included the drone technology to its sanitization programme. BBMP deployed drones to disinfect public places like bus stands, railway stations. A group of students at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Guwahati, has recently developed a drone with an automated sprayer to sanitise large areas including roads, parks and footpaths, to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Besides, drones can be used in quick delivery of testing kits and emergency supplies to Covid hotspots.

Humanoid robots:

Robots can play a vital role during the present pandemic as they can minimise human intervention at all levels. The robots are being used for jobs such as sanitising hospitals and delivering food and medicines in many states.

The Sawai Man Singh Government Hospital in the Rajasthan capital Jaipur is conducting a series of trials on a humanoid robot to check if it can be pressed into service for delivering medicines, and food to the COVID-19 patients admitted there.

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Kerala-based startup Asimov Robotics has developed a three-wheeled robot that it says can be used to assist patients in isolation wards. This will include helping with things like food and medication, something that nurses and doctors have been doing so far, putting them at larger risk of contracting the virus.

Mobile apps:

Mobile apps were also launched that have tracking capabilities, and authorities are using it to prevent the spread of the disease.

E-passes were also issued to those associated with essential services, such as vegetable-vendors, grocers and milk-sellers, to ensure smooth supply of items of daily use in many states during the lockdown.

In Bengaluru, in order to keep a track of the isolated persons, Quarantine Watch, a mobile application has been developed by Karnataka government's revenue department.

The home quarantined coronavirus suspects and patients will have to send their selfies on the app on an hourly basis.

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If the home quarantine person fails to send selfie every one hour (except sleeping time from 10 pm to 7 am) then government team will reach such defaulters and they are liable to be shifted to the government created mass quarantine.

Even those sending wrong pictures to mislead the team monitoring them will be shifted to the mass quarantine. The government quarantine check team during house-to- house visits will use the application and click photo of home quarantined persons and send it to the government.

The decision comes following complaints that home quarantined persons were violating regulations and roaming around freely ignoring government directions.

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