A professor from Tsinghua University in Beijing, China, has designed a potentially life-saving robotic arm to assist medical personnel in treating coronavirus patients.

The robotic arm, which was developed by Tsinghua professor Zheng Gangtie, performs healthcare related functions amid a shortage of medical professionals during the global spread of the virus.

The robotic arm travels on wheels and reportedly performs ultrasounds, collects mouth swabs and listens to a patient’s internal organs, reporting data back to medical professionals operating the system remotely. The robotic arm can even disinfect itself after contact with humans, according to reports.

To develop the technology, Gangtie converted autonomous mechanized robotic arms already in development using technology from lunar explorers and space stations.

Such a development could potentially keep medical personnel — already feeling considerable strain from the global pandemic in terms of risk to worker health and a shortage of labor, not to mention an increase in the number of cases — from contracting the virus.

Already, the robotic arm has been trialed in hospitals in Beijing and Gangtie is hoping that the robots will soon be commercialized.

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