IIM Kozhikode incubatee startup develops swab sample collection robot for safe and speedy testing

Indian Institute of Management Kozhikode (IIMK) based incubatee start-up, ispAgro, has developed a functional prototype of a robotic swab sample collection arm which can be remotely controlled for safe and speedy swab sample collection process. The specializes in drone and robotics technology and is one of the many start-ups mentored by IIMK’s business incubator and entrepreneurship development center, LIVE. 

The start-up, which has been seed-funded by the collaborative initiative between IIMK LIVE and Mangalore Refineries and Petrochemicals Limited (MRPL) has developed this robot to replace the manual swab collection process and thereby reducing the COVID19 threat to frontline health workers involved in test sample collection. The robot armed with a 180 degree rotation gripper is extendable upto 1 meter in length. With the android app, a technician can easily operate it and regulate its movement beyond a safe physical barrier. The demonstration video of the swab collection robot is available on link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LekhOA3CH9I&feature=youtu.be 

Avinash Rao, Founder – ispAgro Robotics said that the company is planning to enhance the prototype by including AI based operator less control so that the robot can be deployed at the level of Primary Health Centres (PHCs). Camera and Infrared integration for better and faster sampling, Microphone and Speaker integration for two-way communication are also on the cards in addition to an automatic sanitation unit for its arm grippers to ensure complete safety of the person whose sample is being collected.