Egyptian engineers robot to help fight Covid-19

By Noemí Jabois

Tanta, Egypt, Aug 24 (efe’epa).- An all-white robot, equipped with a smiling, human-like face with two yellow sensors for eyes, is the brainchild of Mahmoud al-Komy, a young Egyptian engineer who has invented the android to help diagnose and treat Covid-19 patients.

Cira V 02’s feminine face sits atop a broad torso that has been fitted with a screen that displays scan results to anyone facing it.

As well as taking a person’s temperature, Cira can also detect whether someone is wearing a face mask, obtain samples for a PCR test, take blood samples and even wait tables.

“From the beginning of Covid-19 I thought of making (…) an integrated solution. I wanted to help people, this robot (is) made for humanity,” the 26-year-old engineer tells Efe.

Cira was 3D-printed in April at a laboratory of the academy where al-Komy teaches programming and robotics to children between the ages of 6 and 18 in Tanta, a city north of Cairo.

But this V02 is a new and improved second version. Unlike the first, this one is equipped to measure people’s temperature from up to five meters away and take PCR samples from the nose, not only the mouth.

Cira’s “father”, al-Komy, has already been in contact with manufacturers and even with some government offices who are interested in Cira’s services.

Although the number of new coronavirus cases reported in Egypt dropped under 100 cases on Saturday, the engineer says he will continue improving its functions, as he is well aware that the pandemic is far from over.

If he is able to find a sponsor or a manufacturer, al-Komy says he can separate Cira’s tasks to allow cafes or restaurants to have their own version of the robot that differs from the one sold to hospitals or those designed for use at an airport.

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