New pop-up hospital in Lin-gang bristles with high-tech gear| Updated: Apr 15, 2022 L M S

A new pop-up hospital set up in the Lin-gang Special Area – located in East China's Shanghai city – has been operating since April 6 and China Unicom's Shanghai office, together with artificial intelligence companies, have contributed AI service robots to the facility to assist in the COVID-19 epidemic fight.

Nearly 300 various service robots are now on duty, carrying out indoor and outdoor logistics, distribution and disinfection functions.

All the robots are controlled by a digital twin command center developed by China Unicom's Shanghai office and the AI company DGene Inc.

The digital command center combines technologies such as big data, artificial intelligence and digital twin technology for the centralized control of the robots and the real-time monitoring of data in the hospital.


A view of the main screen in the digital command center. [Photo/WeChat account: lgqyfwj]

Inside the pop-up hospital, eight unmanned distribution vehicles are in charge of transporting nucleic acid samples, medical supplies, household goods, medicine and medical waste between the inpatient ward and the living area. This system is said to have greatly improved the distribution efficiency of makeshift hospitals.

The unmanned distribution vehicles, with L4 autopilot capability, are equipped with multi-sensing technologies for high-precision positioning and automatic driving. They can adapt to all kinds of road environments – including uneven surfaces, slopes, speed bumps and sidewalks.


Medical staff at the Lin-gang pop-up hospital check out some unmanned distribution vehicles. [Photo/WeChat account: lgqyfwj]

In the meantime, 254 robots are responsible for the delivery of boxed meals, medicine and waste recycling in the hospital. This is said to help reduce the risk of cross-infection between patients and effectively guarantees the safety of medical staff.

This kind of robot has two operating modes. When distributing meals, eight robots can deliver 360 meals in 30 minutes. The other mode is used to distribute medical supplies and daily necessities at designated points, accurately delivering to a bed typically within half an hour.

In addition, the robot's voice and physical appearance has been designed to reassure both patients and medics.

Fifteen disinfection robots have also been pressed into service. Each is equipped with three disinfection modules: an ultraviolet lamp, an ultra-dry fog generator and a plasma air purifier and can work 24 hours a day.

It's understood that this is first time large-scale and systematic deployment and actual application of multiple types of robots have been introduced in a pop-up hospital. As a result, the experiences gained in the Lin-gang facility will be shared with many other areas.


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