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The Silicon Review Asia

Start-up company ispAgro develops a robotic swab sample collection arm

Start-up company ispAgro develops a robotic swab sample collection arm

Not only the government, but many healthcare professionals, companies, startups and talented individuals are working towards bringing a better solution to fight the pandemic. As a helping hand, an incubatee start-up based at the Indian Institute of Management, Kozhikode, (IIM-K), has developed a functional prototype of a robotic swab sample collection arm that can be remotely controlled for safe and speedy swab sample collection.

The start-up ispAgro specializes in drone and robotics technology and is one of the start-ups mentored by the IIM-K’s business incubator and entrepreneurship development center.

This amazing initiative has been seed-funded by collaboration between the IIM-K and Mangalore Refineries and Petrochemicals Limited.  The robotic arm has been developed to replace the manual swab collection process as it can reduce the COVID-19 threat to front-line health workers involved in sample collection.

The robotic arm has a 180-degree-rotation gripper and is extendable up to one meter in length. With an android app, a technician can easily operate it and regulate its movement behind a safe physical barrier.

Professor Debashis Chatterjee, Director, IIM-K, said the resolve shown by this start-up to come up with this robotic intervention in a short time spoke volumes about how indigenous talent nurtured in a cultivable, creative environment could lead the way in an hour of crisis.

Founder of ispAgro Robotics Avinash Rao said the company was planning to enhance the prototype by including Artificial Intelligence-based operator-less control so that the robot could be deployed at the level of primary health centers (PHCs).

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