Many find the idea of needles a necessary evil, and at a time when vaccines are as important as they once were, such feelings can make vaccination against COVID-19 much more difficult.
Now, a company founded in the leading technology incubator to launch the University of Waterloo introduced the first robot able to perform intramuscular injections. The robot is called Cobionix – for short – Cobi – and does not require a needle to deliver its dose. Instead, he uses a jet of high-pressure fluid no thicker than human hair to inject the contents of the vaccine into the tissue.
“Cobi is a universal robotics platform that can be quickly deployed to perform tasks with 100% autonomy,” said Tim Laswell, co-founder and CEO of Cobionix, in a statement. “We equipped Cobi to use needle-free injection technology and to demonstrate that patients can receive intramuscular injections, such as vaccines, without needles and without the involvement of a medical professional.
Cobi comes with many advantages. For starters, this can be an effective way to address health care shortages. This is also a safer way to vaccinate people, as no human workers need to be involved.
Cobi can scan a person’s identity documents and verify that they are correct. It is then possible to find the best place in the patient’s body to be vaccinated.
But Kobe’s skills are not limited to healthcare. Its manufacturers say the robot can be adapted to the clean technology and hospitality industries. With some small changes and a few changes in coding, Cobi can become a whole new robot, performing a whole new set of tasks.
The real value of the Cobi lies in the fact that it can be fully automated. Some robots work alongside is observed by humans at a distance that control every movement of the machine.
But Cobi was created to be programmed to function independently. This will probably reduce the cost of operating the robots and make them useful for many more applications.
Of course, the robot is not yet ready to hit the market. It may take another two years for Cobi to function fully autonomously, but its creators have high hopes for it when it finally does.