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Cardiff School of Technologies EUREKA Robotics Lab pilot new Covid-19 (coronavirus) testing at GP surgery

​April 23, 2020

Cardiff Metropolitan University
EUREKA Robotics Lab robot

Academics at Cardiff Met’s Eureka Robotics Lab are joining the effort to slow the spread of Covid-19 (coronavirus) by using the latest robotics technology to pilot a system for identifying virus symptoms. Based at the University’s School of Technologies, the robotics team will use three Canbot U03S robots to help GPs on the front-line. 

Thanks to an expedited grant from the university Research and Innovation ‘Get Started’ fund, the project has been initiated after observing similar uses of technology in America and China, with robots being used to treat patients and support people who are shielding. Academics at the EUREKA Lab will use state-of-the-art health technology to design and programme a range of skills to aid testing at a safe distance while also designing a public health campaign to help raise awareness of the measures people can take to protect themselves.

The idea came from a conversation with NHS staff, and the recent concern over a shortage of PPE equipment. The team at EUREKA hope to use the latest robotics technology to aid front-line staff to work safely.

Dean of Cardiff School of Technologies, Professor Jon Platts, said: “Our University’s ethical values hold true when faced with challenges like global pandemics, and we must all look for alternative ways to support the effort to slow the spread of Covid-19. I am proud to see colleagues in the EUREKA lab stepping up to this unprecedented challenge in such an innovative way.”

Academic and founder of the EUREKA Robotics Lab, Dr Esyin Chew, said: “The current pressures faced by GPs in light of the Covid-19 pandemic are huge. If technology can help us improve patient care and make our surgeries more efficient and safer places for both staff and patients, then we must grab it with both hands. We will dedicate our time and resource in the critical months ahead to finding solutions that help those on the front-line to work safely using our technology and the data available.”