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Healthcare Robot Grace Will Soon Be There To Lower The Burden Of COVID-19 Frontline Workers

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Healthcare robot Grace is developed by the Hong Kong-based company Hanson Robotics.

Grace is designed to interact with and comfort the elderly and isolated people, particularly those suffering during the COVID-19 pandemic. She will be responsible for relieving the burden of the frontline hospital staff. The same team earlier manufactured the humanoid robot Sophia.

The Hong Kong team, Hanson Robotics, responsible for designing the humanoid robot Sophia is now launching a healthcare robot Grace. She will reduce the burden on the frontline workers amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. The robot will interacting and comforting elderly and isolated people, thereby relieving the healthcare staff.

The robot is dressed in a blue nurse’s uniform. She has Asian features, short brown hair and a thermal camera in her chest to take the patient’s body temperature and measure their responsiveness. Grace can speak English, Mandarin and Cantonese. She uses artificial intelligence to diagnose a patient.

The healthcare robot spoke with Reuters and said the she can visit people and brighten their day with social stimulation. She added that she can also do talk therapy, take bio readings and help healthcare providers. Her creator, David Hanson said, “A human-like appearance facilitates trust and natural natural engagement because we are wired for human face-to-face interactions”.

He explained how Grace can stimulate the action of above 48 major facial muscles. Hanson also elaborated that she has a comforting demeanour designed to resemble a an anime character.

On The Need for Humanoid Robots

A Communicology professor, Min-Sun, at the University of Hawaii claimed that the COVID-19 impact has made the need for humanoid robots urgent. Therefore, comes the launch of Grace. The COVID-19 lockdown has adversely affected the mental state of many citizens. They are preoccupied by negative thoughts. “If they can get help through the deployment of these social robots in intimate settings, certainly it will have a positive  impact on society,” she said.