This New Robot Can Perform Vaccinations Without Any Needles

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Just in time for vaccination season.

Life after 2020 has been crazy. Firstly dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic and then vaccinating everyone against the contagious disease has been on top of the list for health care centers around the globe. It goes without saying that a lot of people are getting vaccinated nowadays and this process will be a part of our lives for a while now. To help make the health care workers’ lives easier, a new robot has been designed to help streamline the vaccination process by automatically and needle-lessly vaccinating human patients.

Cobi is a device developed by a Canadian startup called Cobionix, a spin-off company from the University of Waterloo. Cobi has been claimed to successfully perform an intramuscular injection without the use of a hypodermic needle. The pre-vaccine registration process is the same for patients, they register online and show up at a clinic that is utilizing a Cobi robot and display their identification card to a camera on the robot’s touchscreen interface. Multiple 3D sensors detect their presence and their ID is verified. After that, Cobi’s robotic arm retrieves a vial of vaccine from built-in storage. A LiDAR sensor on the hand of the robot is then used to create a 3D digital map of the patient’s body which is analyzed via AI-based software to determine the optimal injection site.  

The vaccine itself is injected in the form of a high-pressure jet of fluid using third-party needle-less technology which passes through a human-hair-width orifice. Tim Lasswell, the co-founder of Cobionix, says that it will take minimum two years for Cobi to enter the healthcare market. With Cobi’s entry, it will help more people to get vaccinated more quickly and save time. This could also help lower healthcare costs and utilize these robots in areas where there is a lack of clinicians.

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