Fear of needles is something that plagues at least 10 percent of people and makes getting vaccines of any kind a lot more intimidating. A new robot created by robotics company Cobionix could help take away some of that fear.
Autonomous robots are quickly becoming more and more common. Most robots are designed for very specific purposes. Limiting their purpose makes them expensive and hard to use outside of that distinct area. Cobionix wanted to make a robot that was versatile. Cobionix says the bot can be updated and reconfigured to serve multiple purposes. To showcase just how versatile it is, the company set it up to give injections of vaccines, like the Covid-19 vaccine.
Cobi robot can give you vaccine shots without a needle or doctors
Of course, the idea of an emotionless robot wielding a giant needle isn’t all that enticing. This is why Cobionix has paired the robot with a way to deliver vaccines without needing to use a needle.
Instead of relying on needles to deliver its vaccines, Cobionix paired its robot with a needleless injection technology developed by another company. This method uses a high-pressure fluid jet to inject the vaccine directly into tissue. The jet is no larger than a human hair, so it shouldn’t be intimidating or leave any noticeable marks on the patient.
Cobi isn’t quite ready to give vaccinations
Image source: Cobionix
Instead of relying on doctors to run it, Cobi is completely autonomous. The robot uses LiDAR sensors in its hand to scan the patient. Cobi then uses this information to create a 3D map of their body. The bot can then analyze the map to determine the best spot for the injection.
Cobi also provides instructions for the patient, to help them prepare for the injection. These instructions will tell the patient where to stand and if they need to remove any clothing for the injection.
Cobionix says it has to take a lot of variables into account to make robots like this work in real-world conditions. Because those variables can be so complex, the company believes it will be a few years before robots like Cobi can provide vaccinations. Even if it takes two to three years to complete, offering a needle-less vaccination option is a good idea. Removing the need to fear the needle could help increase the number of vaccinations overall. That will be especially important if the need for Covid-19 booster shots becomes a common occurrence.