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Robot Spot goes to hospitals to help fight against COVID-19

For over ten years, Boston Dynamics has been perfecting its robot-dog Spot. As the company grows, it has become an increasingly versatile assistant in a variety of areas, from site surveys to oil rig operations. The company now reports that it has been working for the past couple of months to turn Spot into a mobile health worker to protect doctors on the frontline of the COVID-19 fight.



And one of Spot's robots has been working with doctors and patients at Boston Hospital for weeks now. The start was simple: the company added mounts specifically designed for Spot and turned it into a mobile telemedicine platform. The iPad mount with two-way radio communication allows doctors to remotely sort patients into hospital departments at the entrance.

Boston Dynamics claims that the system is independent of any particular Spot hardware or software. In fact, any other simple robotic system on wheels may be even better suited for this task. All documentation related to mobile robotic applications during the pandemic is published by Boston Dynamics on GitHub's public storage.

Several applications are currently being developed by the company to extend the functionality of remote treatment and patient care. The next step is to find a way to remotely measure body temperature, respiration and heart rate and blood oxygen saturation. The company is also researching mobile technologies that could help disinfect rooms and surfaces.

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