CSIR-CMERI's automated cart enables care workers to deliver food, medicines to covid wards from a distance

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It is fitted with an audio-visual communication device through which instructions are relayed to the receiver of the contents of the cart.

A video grab of the HCARD automated cart in action.

Chennai: CSIR-CMERI in Durgapur has developed an automated cart, which can be used to transport food and medicines to COVID-19 patients, enabling healthcare workers to maintain physical distancing.

Named 'Hospital Care Assistive Robotic Device’(HCARD), the trolley which has several drawers that can be remotely opened and closed is manoeuvred from a control station at the nurses’ booth. The control station consists of a computer and other connected electronic devices that are responsible for the movement of the HCARD.

The automated cart is also fitted with an audio-visual communication device through which instructions are relayed to the receiver of the contents of the cart.

Apart from sending food and medicines to patients’ rooms, the trolley can be used to send personal protective equipment to healthcare workers coming in for a shift, or to move files and testing equipment from one person’s desk to another without the people having to come into contact with one another

“The cost of the device is less than Rs 5 lakh and the weight is not more than 80 kg, making it easy to use and affordable for healthcare facilities,” Professor Harish Hirani, director of CSIR-CMERI (Council of Scientific and Industrial Research - Central Mechanical Engineering Research Institute) was quoted as saying by PTI.

A spokesperson of the institute said the device can function in a range of 0.5 km and has a battery life of four hours. If the government shows interest, the institute is likely to explore commercial production, the spokesperson indicated.

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