Coronavirus: China working on creating robot to conduct throat testing

A nurse taking the temperature of a woman in the reception area of the First People's Hospital in Yueyang, China, on Jan 28, 2020. Currently, in testing for the coronavirus, a nurse uses a swab to collect secretions from the patient's throat for test
A nurse taking the temperature of a woman in the reception area of the First People's Hospital in Yueyang, China, on Jan 28, 2020. Currently, in testing for the coronavirus, a nurse uses a swab to collect secretions from the patient's throat for testing.PHOTO: REUTERS

SHENYANG (XINHUA) - Chinese developers are working on the research and development of a robot that can replace nurses in conducting throat testing to reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The R&D was started more than a week ago by the country's major robot manufacturer Siasun and the Shenyang Institute of Automation of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Multiple departments have been mobilised in the development, installation and testing work to save time.

Currently, in testing for the coronavirus, a nurse uses a swab to collect secretions from the patient's throat for testing, which risks infecting the nurse because of the exposure to the virus.

The robot, which will include a snake-shaped mechanical arm and a swab collection part, can be controlled remotely to protect the medical staff from being infected, according to Siasun Robot and Automation.

Based in Shenyang, capital of north-east China's Liaoning province, Siasun was founded in 2000 and listed on the Growth Enterprise Market in 2009.

As of Wednesday (Feb 5), the virus that is thought to have originated in Wuhan, Hubei province, has claimed almost 500 lives, while infecting more than 24,500 people around the world.