Start up RoDeSo develops gesture controlled robot Astra for remote use in Covid, hazardous environment

V Rishi Kumar Hyderabad | Updated on August 24, 2020

It can be remotely operated by voice or gesture of hands, helping medical personnel avoid unnecessary vulnerability

A student start-up RoDeSo of the BITS Pilani Hyderabad Technology Business Incubator (TBI) has developed a voice and gesture controlled robot ‘Astra’ (Automated Solution for Transportation in Remote Area) which can be deployed in isolation wards for Covid-19 infected cases.

This could be used for delivery of essentials to patients, collection of contagious waste and virtual visits to the patient by doctors. The rover is an AI-powered, compact, multi motor, gesture and voice controlled transportation solution.

According to a statement, “It can be remotely operated by voice or gesture of hands, helping medical personnel avoid unnecessary vulnerability. The prototype has been tested to carry a load of 1.5-2 kg around wards, delivering essentials which can be modified as per requirements.”

Sanchit Tiwari, founder of RoDeSo (Robots for Development of Society) said, “It functions with simple gestures. My father works at a hospital and I have been listening to first hand stories of doctors and nurses getting infected despite protective gear. Reducing human contact inside Covid-19 ward can help corona warriors to stay safe from getting infected and avoid cross contamination within the ward.”

The start-up also has an IOT (internet of things) based application to control the bot remotely. RoDeSo has already developed the alpha version and plans to add more functionalities like screen for live video conference with doctors, infrared sensors for temperature recording, health management system and navigation control for zero human intervention.

“As start-ups come up with solutions to automate and re-purpose the whole value chain of sustainable economy, robotics, IoT, AI, ML across domains would be important addition to create value for society, the Covid-19 pandemic has created opportunities wherein they play an important role. The TBI would nurture the needs of such product driven start-ups,” Prashant Sinha, Incharge, TBI BITS Pilani Hyderabad told BusinessLine.

Sanchit said, “We have developed the prototype in less than ₹5,000. The design is unique with modulated sensors, lightweight and can reduce human intervention at high risk places like nuclear reactors, coal mines and during natural calamity also.”

“RoDeSo is looking for support from Government and robotic companies as investors for mass production of ‘Astra.’ This will enable us to take it to the next level of automation,” he said.

Published on August 24, 2020

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