Maruti is a wheelchair that allows a health-worker to transport patients to and from isolation wards without physically touching either the patient or the wheelchair.
While Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham remains closed as per the Government lockdown, its professors and HODs continue to develop more and more innovations aimed at helping society deal with the novel Coronavirus.
Most recently, Humanitarian Technology (HuT) Lab, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Amritapuri campus, headed by Dr. Rajesh Kannan Megalingam (Assistant Professor, Department of Electronics and Communication, School of Engineering, Amritapuri), has unveiled robot prototypes that are ready to help in places unsafe for humans to tread.
The operator/caretaker using a Bluetooth application that can be installed in any smartphone or using a wireless joystick controller can operate the wheelchair at a safe distance of 1m up to 4m. Patients in isolation wards can be transported without the need for the operator to touch the wheelchair or the patients.
"The whole purpose of Amrita HuT Lab is to make robots for humanitarian ends. Robots that can assist sick people or that can do jobs that are unsafe for humans," said Dr. Rajesh Kannan from Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham. “For example, some of our early successes were with the creation of a low-cost self-driving wheelchair and a Cocobot that harvests coconuts from places so high that if a human climber were to fall, he would certainly be killed. So, as soon as we realized the seriousness of COVID-19, we began working on robots connected with the pandemic.”