Since the COVID-19 outbreak, the SDU-NTU Joint Centre for Artificial Intelligence Research (C-FAIR) has developed two types of robots, which were sent to hospitals in Wuhan and Huanggang in China’s Hubei Province to aid front-line fight against the coronavirus epidemic.
One of the robots, the smart distant diagnosis and delivery robot, can give medical inquiry to patients, make inspections around wards and distribute materials. It can relieve medical staff from working at contaminated zones, thereby reducing both cross-infection risk and the workload for medical staff. The other type, a patrol robot for epidemic prevention, has multiple functions. Capable of self-navigation and obstacle avoidance, the robot performs tasks of automatic detecting body temperature, spraying disinfectant in specified zones, human face recognition, giving voiced prompts for wearing masks, as well as broadcasting messages for epidemic prevention.
During the early stage of the COVID-19 outbreak, researchers from C-FAIR met with experts from Shandong Provincial Tumor Hospital to discuss feasible plans and operable methods in using AI for epidemic prevention. They cooperated with medical workers of Shandong First Medical University, Jinan University, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, among other medical institutes, to seek technological breakthroughs. With joint efforts by more than 10 experts, development of a prototype machine was completed within a month.
The C-FAIR technical team, medical experts and engineers will closely track the needs of technologies for epidemic control and optimize the robotic system with high-tech solutions. The team is studying and developing soft robotics equipped with flexible arms and capable of force feedback. They will be used to help medical workers to do clinical virus sampling and auxiliary examination.
Jointly funded by Shandong University and Nanyang Technological University in 2019, C-FAIR has been inaugurated for key research plans such as basic AI theory, AI health and old-age care, smart government administration, block chain intelligence, cross media intelligence, as well as real-life AI solutions. On the 2020 AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence, Dareway Software Co., affiliated with Shandong University and C-FAIR, won the Awards for Innovative Application of Artificial Intelligence with their co-developed AI application project: “PIDS: An Intelligent Electric Power Management Platform”.