The world's first automatic swab robot launched in Denmark

The World Health Organization, WHO, recommends rapid and consistent testing for COVID-19 to monitor the circulation of the virus in the general public. In response to this, the world’s first automatic swab robot has just been launched in Denmark.

The groundbreaking robot has been designed and developed in just four weeks by a team of robotics researchers at the Maersk Mc-Kinney Moller Institute at the University of Southern Denmark (SDU) in Odense, a city home to one of the world’s leading robotics clusters.

A new company called Lifeline Robotics, which is owned jointly between the university, Norrsken Foundation, and REInvest Robotics, aims to take the swab robot from prototype to market in record time, hoping to equip the first hospitals in just a few months.

The new machine automates the testing process and reduces the risk of infection among healthcare staff and patients. The robot is designed to pick up the swab after the patient has scanned his or her ID-card (the Danish national health insurance card), and it then identifies the right points in the patient’s throat through artificial intelligence-based computer vision. The swab test is conducted gently and securely in a fully automated process.

The swab robot has already received two million DKK in funding from Vaekstfonden, which is the Danish state’s investment fund. Its future development is also supported by Odense University Hospital.

The innovation process was made possible due to the unique and well-organized cluster of automation and robotics companies in Odense, where close collaboration between education, research, and the industry is a norm.

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