With the spread of the coronavirus and the increased number of patients in Lebanon and worldwide, the infection of the medical staff treating coronavirus patients posed a great challenge, according to officers of medical centers and hospitals.
Amid this situation, a group of students from the Lebanese University - Faculty of Science, consisting of Hassan Badran (first year Master in Informatics), Majd Dhainy, Hadi Zein El Din and Sami Shams El Din (3rd year, Informatics) and Zaher Chehadi (3rd year, Chemistry) under the supervision of Dr. Bassem Haidar and Dr. Siba Haidar decided to address the issue of robotics in the fight against coronavirus in Lebanon.
The design idea turned into reality when the student group went to Rafik Hariri University Hospital to meet with the Director, Dr. Firass Abiad, the head of the coronavirus unit, Dr. Layal Olaywan, Corona Unit Supervisor and Professor Ahmed Haidar from the "Isolation Unit" and familiarize with the needs of the medical staff and the facilities that this design can provide.
As a first step, the five students developed a prototype capable of replacing medical staff, serving meals and administering certain medications to patients. The robot has been designed in the form of a rolling table, remotely controlled and equipped with a camera allowing medical personnel to contact the patient by video call. Subsequently, the robot can be disinfected and is capable of performing additional tasks such as measuring the patient's temperature and moving autonomously.
Accompanied by the Dean of the Faculty of Science, Prof. Bassam Badran, the Faculty Director, Prof. Yasser Mhanna and Prof. Bassem Haidar, the students visited the LU President, Prof. Fouad Ayoub on 30 March 2020, at the central administration where the robotic concept was approved.
The students, who have volunteered to bring a programmatic function to the concept, hope that their initiative will receive the material support required from stakeholders (public or private sector, students, engineers, individuals ...) to contribute to supporting medical teams and facilitating the service of patients.