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A Florida Clinic Is Using Remote-Controlled Vehicles To Transport COVID-19 Tests

Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida is using autonomous or remote-controlled shuttles to move COVID-19 tests from a testing site in the city to its lab for proper processing. Beep, a company working on providing autonomous solutions worked the clinic as well as the JTA and Navya.

 

In the video uploaded to YouTube, there is an SUV that tails the vehicle as it makes its trip. According to a statement provided to The Verge, the Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA) provided this shadow vehicle. Beep’s CEO, Joe Moye, explains that the SUV is there to:

 

“Ensure no traffic or pedestrians would potentially impact the delivery path of the COVID-19 samples and supplies.”

 

Navya, a French company specialized in the design and construction of autonomous and electric vehicles, is said to have designed the pilot programme the shuttle used.

 

This new way of transporting, using remote-controlled vehicles, COVID-19 tests began on 30th March 2020.

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A staff of Mayo Clinic at the test site loads the cooler of tests on the shuttle. Then, with its SUV bodyguard, the autonomous vehicle takes the COVID-19 test to the clinic that is about 0.8 miles away. It achieves about 5 to 6 trips per day.

 

See video of the remote-controlled vehicle transporting COVID-19 tests in action:

 

 

In addition, there are four of these vehicles operating since it started.

 

These robot assistants are valuable for many reasons. One of them is that it reduces the number of people coming in contact with the test. Thus, only the staff loading and unloading the coolers will be touching it asides those working in the laboratories.

 

Also, it frees up more workers at the Mayo Clinic. This is essential in these times when health human resources are greatly reduced.

 

However, there is still much work in these autonomous trips. For example, if the trips didn’t require the SUV escort and personnel monitoring it from command centers; the number of people exposed to COVID-19 will be far more reduced.

 

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Onwuasoanya Obinna

A reader of books and stringer of words. Passionate about Science and Tech. When not writing or reading he is surfing the web and Tweeting.

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