Progresses in the design of human-aware robots makes it now possible to deploy robots in human inhabited environments. The last couple of years have witnessed steps in that direction with the introduction of autonomous cars , drones and ground robots for last mile delivery services [2, 3], robots as assistant and tour guide to visitors [4, 5] and autonomous wheelchairs . The deployment of robots for public use has the advantage to enable a larger population to benefit from advances in automation. However, it introduces new hazards that may endanger our lives on a daily basis.
We argue that the lack of compliance with social rules during navigation, can be considered as a source of physical as well as psychological hazard. The importance of socially-aware navigation is nowadays very much consolidated in the robotics literature [101,102,103,104]. As a matter of fact, in interpersonal interactions, people tend to respect personal space; move to one side of hallways; yield right-of-way. This is made possible by culturally shared conventions and by the capability of interpreting human communication (e.g. movements, gestures, eye-contact, etc.). In human robot interaction, research demonstrates that by implementing socially aware navigation improves robot performance and safety (by reducing stress and discomfort during navigation), and as illustrated in scenario no. 3. For instance, a robot non respecting personal space can cause discomfort in pedestrians [105, 106].
This paper offered an overview of the hazards entailed by the introduction of robots moving in densely populated, pedestrian areas. These robots will present primarily risks for human physical safety. Because they travel in close vicinity to pedestrians, unlike cars, they are highly likely to enter in physical contact with humans. As these robots are heavy and can travel faster than humans, contact may generate strong forces and be particularly detrimental to population with slow mobility and for children.
Due to the increasing number of COVID-19 cases, there is a remarkable demand for robots, especially in the clinical sector. SARS-CoV-2 mainly propagates due to close human interactions and contaminated surfaces, and hence, maintaining social distancing has become a mandatory preventive measure. This generates the need to treat patients with minimal doctor-patient interaction. Introducing robots in the healthcare sector protects the frontline healthcare workers from getting exposed to the coronavirus as well as decreases the need for medical personnel as robots can partially take over some medical roles. The aim of this paper is to highlight the emerging role of robotic applications in the healthcare sector and allied areas. To this end, a systematic review was conducted regarding the various robots that have been implemented worldwide during the COVID-19 pandemic to attenuate and contain the virus. The results obtained from this study reveal that the implementation of robotics into the healthcare field has a substantial effect in controlling the spread of SARS-CoV-2, as it blocks coronavirus propagation between patients and healthcare workers, along with other advantages such as disinfection or cleaning.
The present study highlights the various contributions of robotics in healthcare and, particularly, COVID-19 pandemic. Section 1 illustrates the specifications of healthcare robots; Section 2 covers all types of healthcare state-of-the-art robots used for combating the pandemic; Section 3 describes the classification and operation of various robots; Section 4 integrates the results drawn from this study; Section 5 is a review of what can be done to make current robots more efficient and reliable. The objective of this study is therefore to enhance our understanding about the effective use of robotic technologies for tackling these situations, as well as to suggest potential solutions for future endeavours.
The motivation behind choosing this topic was to better our understanding about the strategies by which COVID-19 has been effectively mitigated, particularly by employing robots in the healthcare sector. Our objective is therefore to identify robots that can be implemented in the healthcare sector which can be used easily and improve the quality of treatment. To address this topic, an extensive and comprehensive literature review was conducted to compile published research papers pertinent to the topic of COVID-19 and robotics, by following the PRISMA guidelines. Based on our inclusion/exclusion criteria, any duplicate, inaccessible papers were removed, and only those papers written in English between 1998 and 2021 were included; collectively, 92 eligible studies were included in the meta-analysis.
Qualitative and quantitative data were assessed to obtain relevant information which was included in this study. Bibliometric analysis, as shown in Figure 2, was performed by retrieving relevant papers and detecting associations among COVID-19 and robots, the latter of which were of higher importance in terms of potential and performance. For the bibliometric analysis, numerical subsets that provided satisfactory results were chosen. The main keywords in the title and abstract of the retrieved papers were extracted and compiled, and their cooccurrence was graphically represented (Figure 2). This graphical representation provides significant information on how different subheadings are closely interlinked within the context of healthcare robotics. The greater the number of cooccurrent words of a topic, the greater their importance, as it highlights and categorizes robots (such as socially assistive robots or surgical robots) which have been implemented in the healthcare sector and relevant papers have been published, along with their corresponding operation and technological application.
Amidst the COVID-19 crisis, there was an increase in usage in robotic applications in the clinical sector. Many professionals are jointly working towards the development of robots that ease the workload of healthcare professionals [16, 17]. Remarkable advancements in the field of robotics have been observed recently. Most tech giants, as well as universities, have made it possible to implement robotic applications that work alongside frontline healthcare workers in order to combat this pandemic [18, 19].
The implementation of robotics in the field of healthcare presents countless advantages on its own, and especially in the era of the COVID-19 pandemic that has befallen us, we are presented with probably no better alternative than the introduction of robots to attenuate the problems associated with this pandemic . We also provide a brief review on the types of medical robots and their operations and discuss the medical tasks that can be fulfilled by these robotic applications in this section.
In this study, we presented a thorough overview of the various types of robots that are used in the clinical sector to perform tasks in SARS-CoV-2-contaminated zones. The aim of this study is to serve as an informative resource for the current advancements in the medical sector, which would prove highly beneficial to combat highly infectious diseases like COVID-19 on various forefronts. One limitation of this study is that while an effort was made to cover as many healthcare robot applications that have been used against COVID-19 as possible, it mainly focused on scientific publications, possibly leaving out novel industrial applications. The world of the healthcare sector, postpandemic, appears to be more reliant on robots in order to prevent human-to-human transmission. There was a huge demand for medical robots in developed markets due to their numerous advantages in functionality and ability to restrict the spread of SARS-CoV-2. The onset of use of robotics might only increase at a greater rate because of the ongoing pandemic. Therefore, many countries may increase their interest in robotic advancements to gain financial and medical stability along with better healthcare, which would lead to a drastic increase in the use of medical robots.
March 16 - 19, 2020Aria, Las Vegas Colleen: Would you agree that the robot is the most significant recent technological advance in hernia repair?Dr. Belyansky: The robotic platform has been around for a while, and we have observing a fairly steep adaptation curve of this technology since 2012 in the hernia field. I think this has to do with the variety of additional techniques that have been described on the robot that are challenging to reproduce laparoscopically. Adaptation of robotics in the hernia field may also have to do with a culture change, where some of us are trying to minimize or eliminate the need for penetrating mesh fixation and to keep the mesh outside of the intraabdominal cavity.
Colleen: What is your advice to the surgeon who is contemplating introducing robotics into his or her hernia practice?Dr. Belyansky: Get on a dry box and a simulator to begin understanding the controls. Go to case observation. Find a mentor with whom you are comfortable. Do a porcine and cadaver lab. Try to do cases that you are already comfortable doing laparoscopically, since you really want to go through one learning curve at a time. Be ready to slow down your practice. The initial learning curve takes 3 to 6 months to get through. Try to get at least one day a week on the robot to improve your skills. DO NOT place the most complex cases on the robot initially, or try techniques that you have never done laparoscopically. Going through two learning curves at the same time is a good formula for failure. 2b1af7f3a8