(CNN)Although many people around the world are practicing social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic, those on the frontlines fighting the virus can’t stay home. Experts agree that robots could take over the “dull, dirty and dangerous” jobs humans are currently fulfilling. Countries such as China have already deployed robots to assist with certain tasks during the pandemic, like taking people’s temperatures. But in an editorial published Wednesday in the journal Science Robotics, experts suggested that more needs to be done now. Robots currently used for other applications could be repurposed to handle dangerous tasks that involve a risk of infection. And the coronavirus pandemic serves as a teachable moment: We weren’t prepared. The panel reminds us that similar plans for robotic assistance were created after the 2015 Ebola outbreak — but the funding and motivation dropped off. The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and the National Science Foundation organized workshops in 2015 that identified three broad areas where robotics can make a difference: clinical care such as telemedicine and decontamination; logistics such as delivery and handling of contaminated waste; and reconnaissance including monitoring compliance with voluntary quarantines. “The experiences with the Ebola outbreak identified a broad spectrum

Continue To Full Article