Published: 14th August 2020
LPU researchers develop robot to ensure mask usage, social distancing in COVID hotspots
Powered with IoT, APIs and a host of sensors, Alithis can be used as an eye by the local authorities to remotely detect in real-time if people are observing social distancing in contaminated areas
A team of researchers from Lovely Professional University today announced that they have developed Alithis, a multipurpose robot that can help the government and local authorities in highly contaminated Corona hot spots which may be unsafe for physical monitoring by health workers and local administration. Powered with IoT, APIs and a host of sensors, Alithis can be used as an eye by the local authorities to remotely detect in real-time if people are observing the social distancing norms in contaminated areas and warn them through voice commands if they are not maintaining a safe distance of 2 metres from each other or not wearing a mask. Alithis can also monitor any movement at prohibited places and alert the officials, spread awareness about COVID-19, communicate with the people in real time and sanitize any individual with a sprinkler from a distance of one meter.
Alithis can interact with users in different languages and is also equipped with an LCD touch screen with graphical user interface (GUI) to display messages. It can also help people get information about the COVID-19 helpline numbers, nearest healthcare facilities and labs for COVID-19. The outer covering of the robot is made of robust material which makes it quite safe against any environmental or climatic changes and prevents damage to the internal parts and functionalities. Keeping in mind the traffic and other obstacles that may arise in open spaces, the researchers have embedded sensors and camera in Alithis which help it navigate such obstructions.
It has been conceptualised and developed under the aegis of the USD 1 million fund set up by LPU to combat the outbreak of COVID-19. The research team behind the project includes Bishwajyoti Roy, Shaik Vaseem Akram, Prabin Kumar Das, Mahesh Kumar Prajapat, Km Vaishnavi Gupta, BTech students of Lovely Professional University under the mentorship of Dr Dharam Buddhi, Professor and Executive Dean, Division of Research and Innovation, and Dr Rajesh Singh and Dr Anita Gehlot, Professors at Lovely Professional University.
Dr Dharam Buddhi said, “Government and police officials are becoming widely infected with COVID-19 in the line of duty. With Alithis, our goal was to develop a robot that can help reduce their movement in contaiment zones by being able to perform some of the functions required like monitoring, remote surveillance and sanitisation. Alithis can perform all of these functions smoothly while also enabling remote communication, as and when needed.”
The team has developed a prototype of Alithis and has successfully conducted its trials within the university. The prototype, which costs around Rs 30,000/- is 3.5 ft tall, 2 ft wide and weighs around 5 kgs. LPU is now looking for industrial partners for the commercialisation of Alithis and expects the price to decrease by ‘20-25%’ with large scale manufacturing.