In Tamil Nadu, humanoid robots are set to work with Coronavirus patients in quarantine

Humanoid robots to be deployed at a local hospital in Tamil Nadu’s Tiruchirappalli Screenshot/Propeller Technologies/YouTube

  • Propeller Technologies donated a fleet of humanoid robots to a local government hospital in Tamil Nadu’s Tiruchirappalli.
  • These robots will be able to deliver food and medicines to the infected and help reduce the risk to medical workers.
  • Dubbed Zafi and Zafi Med, the latter was modified to fit the requirements of the Coronavirus outbreak in India.
A private software company in Tamil Nadu’s Tiruchirappalli has donated humanoid robots to the local government hospital. These robots will help deliver food and medicines to Coronavirus infected patients under quarantine — reducing the level of direct contact with medical workers.

Zafi robots (behind) and Zafi Med (front)Screenshot/Propeller Technologies/YouTube

The robots built by Propeller Technologies have cameras and wireless connectivity. So, even if a medical worker isn’t physically present — the patient will still be able to interact with a real person, just without the added risk. All a person needs to operate them is a mobile phone and Android controller.


Meet the robots
Two prototypes, dubbed ‘Zafi’ and ‘Zafi Med’ were tested at the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Government Hospital on Sunday, March 29, according to the New Indian Express.

Zafi was created in 2019, however, Zafi Med only came into existence a couple of days ago. Both are similar in size and shape at 4 feet tall, but the original was modified to cater to the need of medical workers during the Coronavirus outbreak.

The original ZafiScreenshot/Propeller Technologies/YouTube

Zafi can only be operated from a distance of 250 meters and lift up to 8 kilos, whereas Zafi Med can be operated from as much as 1.5 kilometers away and lift upto 20 kilos. The only way that Zafi Med falls short of Zafi is that it does not have wireless talking.

Zafi MedScreenshot/Propeller Technologies/YouTube

Reports indicate that the robots will have sensors to ring the bell once they’re outside a patient’s room.

Right now, the district administration is yet to approve their use in the hospital. According to ANI, four robots are ready to deploy as soon as the measure is rubber stamped. They will be connected to the nurses and doctors stations in the hospital.


Using contactless delivery can reduce the risk of infection to medical workers and reduce the burden on the already-limited medical supplies. It also helps lower the stress on nurses and doctors who are working overtime during the Coronavirus outbreak.

Coronavirus in Tamil Nadu
The numbers of Coronavirus infections in Tamil Nadu have crossed 50 with one death and five recoveries. According to Health Minister C Vijayabaskar, there are 13,323 beds present in isolation wards and over 3,000 ventilators available in the state.

Others in the state — like a textile store owner in Madurai’s Nadaraj Nagar who manufactured 8,000 masks and distributed them to needy — are stepping up to address the pandemic.


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