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Drones.Disinfecting Robots. Supercomputers. The Coronavirus Outbreak Is A Test For China's Tech Industry
 

China has spent decades nurturing its tech sector. Now, faced with a massive public health crisis, Beijing is pushing its tech companies to join the fight against the novel coronavirus.

The country's tech giants have responded to the outbreak by deploying autonomous vehicles to bring supplies to medical workers, fitting drones with thermal cameras to improve detection of the virus and lending their computing power to help develop a vaccine.

Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com (JD) recently enlisted self-driving robots to bring goods to medical workers in the central Chinese city of Wuhan.



The bots, which look and run much like pint-sized vehicles, have been delivering packages to a hospital that primarily treats coronavirus patients. The route is relatively short — about 600 meters to the hospital — but cutting humans out of the equation has helped protect customers and employees.

Drones have also been put to use during the outbreak. The technology allows authorities to scan through large crowds and spot if someone's in need of medical attention...



This month, Tencent opened up its super-computing facilities — which include machines that can run calculations much faster than an ordinary PC — to help researchers racing to find a cure.

And Didi, China's biggest ride-hailing provider, has teamed up with medical and aid organizations to allow workers who need to perform tasks related to data analysis, online simulation or logistical support to use Didi's servers for free.



using robots to deliver medicine, food, and disinfect rooms



O'Malley said robots in China can do more than deliver medicine, however. Some can scan medicine inventory and remove outdated supplies. Others can spray disinfectants and can even prevent the spread of infectious diseases in public spaces.

"Robots can help with decontamination and reducing human-to-human transmission risk by reducing exposure," O'Malley said. "Artificial intelligence might be helpful in data science aspects, tracking information about the spread of cases to determine risk profiles and identify ways to limit spread if we understand better how it is spread.”

Over in Guangzhou, in southern Guangdong province, 5G-powered patrolling robots remind the public of the importance of frequent hand-washing and the mandatory donning of masks. The robots are also equipped with high-resolution cameras and infrared thermometers that are capable of scanning the body temperatures of 10 people at once.



Unmanned vehicles, both arial and terrestrial, have allowed the Chinese government to reduce the number of people put at risk of catching the virus.

Guangzhou-based agriculture drone manufacturer XAG is working to deploy a fleet of drones that can spray disinfectant on affected areas such as bus and train stations and other public spaces.

 

From:China daily bilingual news wechat public number

 
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