Neera Jain in Forbes: Trusting Robots Is Key to Fighting the Next Pandemic
In a Forbes opinion piece, Neera Jain, assistant professor of mechanical engineering at Purdue University, describes how robotic nurses have helped care for COVID-19 patients in an Italian hospital — one example of automated technology’s valuable role in combating the pandemic. In other countries, she observes, robots also are being used for important disinfection and delivery tasks.
However, Jain writes, for automated systems to reach their full potential, people must feel comfortable and interact with them naturally. While that may seem counterintuitive amid social distancing and job losses, she points out that “if leveraged and deployed in the right ways, robots don’t replace humans.” Jain explains how robots as “mutual collaborators” can enhance healthcare and relieve pressures on human healthcare providers and personal protective equipment supplies. The professor and subject-matter expert encourages using the lessons of COVID-19 to take a longer view and develop tested, ready-to-use automation for the next crisis.
Read the full piece here: How Trust In Robots Can Help Us Fight The Next Pandemic