Railways go hi-tech; use Artificial Intelligence, robotics to fight COVID

Updated: Aug 01, 2020, 07:32 IST | Rajendra B Aklekar | Mumbai

Robots deployed at railway stations to scan passengers and for surveillance; hospitals also use them to talk to COVID-19 patients

Captain Arjun sprays sanitiser on a person's hand at Pune station
Captain Arjun sprays sanitiser on a person's hand at Pune station

According to railway officials, Robotics and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are proving of serious assistance at railway stations and hospitals in the COVID-19 pandemic.

Automated robots not only check temperatures and oxygen saturation at station entry points, but the remote-controlled ones also help in carrying essentials, medicines inside quarantine wards of railway hospitals. The RPF has also developed another one for surveillance equipped with motion sensors, PTZ camera (Pan, Tilt, Zoom cameras).

Rakshak - Byculla Hospital

A person gets his oxygen level checked by Rakshak at Byculla Hospital
A person gets his oxygen level checked by Rakshak at Byculla Hospital

Rakshak is ergonomically designed for interaction between doctor and patient remotely. It can measure temperature, pulse, oxygen percentage and dispenses sanitiser automatically. It can deliver medicine/food to patients and has a 2-way video communication between doctor and patient. With a fully charged battery, it can work six hours straight and carry up to 10 kg weight.

Cop Captain Arjun

The RPF, Pune, on June 12 launched a robotic 'Captain Arjun' to intensify the screening and surveillance. This robot was launched to screen passengers and to keep a watch on anti-social elements. Arjun is equipped with a motion sensor, a PTZ camera and one dome camera. It also does thermal screening and records the temperature in digital display panel with a response time of 0.5 seconds and if the temperature is higher than the reference range, it sounds an abnormal automatic alarm with a counting capacity of 999. The person behind this innovation, Alok Bohra DIG/RPF, said, "High infection rates among multiple segments of people across the world have hampered efforts to tackle COVID-19. So this prompted us to consider robotic screening."

Solapur robot

A patient communicates with a doctor at Dr Kotnis Memorial Railway Hospital, Solapur
A patient communicates with a doctor at Dr Kotnis Memorial Railway Hospital, Solapur

An innovative Medical Assistant (RO) BOT wasmade to assist the doctors at Dr Kotnis Memorial Railway Hospital, Solapur. This robot can dispense hand sanitiser, do thermal screening and use a pulse oximeter to check oxygen saturation. The doctor and patient can have two-way video communication. It was developed inhouse by Solapur division.

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