If we are unlucky enough to witness another pandemic, perhaps the vaccines are administered by a robot and not a person. The Canadian company Cobionix has been working and ‘Cobi’, a self-contained robotic arm capable of vaccinating people with intramuscular doses without the need for needles.
Vaccines that are not injected, “go off”
Cobi has LiDAR cameras and sensors to streamline and automate the vaccination process. The patient arrives, stands next to him and follows the instructions given through a screen. A camera reads the person’s ID, and the sensors guide him to stand with his arm in front of him and clean the injection site using alcohol swabs.
The robot is capable of picking up single-dose capsules from a conveniently placed and prepared storage system. Once he has a list, he goes to the patient’s arm and sticks to him to “shoot” the liquid at a pressure high enough to pass a hair-size hole through the skin. The “puncture” itself lasts a second.
Once the vaccine has been injected, the single-dose capsule is disposed of in a compartment labeled sanitary waste, and the patient’s arm is cleaned again.
Delegating the vaccination to Cobi would achieve that health personnel were not exposed to contagion risks, as has happened in all countries with COVID. In addition, a robot does not get tired or make mistakes due to a bad pulse. We could vaccinate more people for longer hours with fleets of these automatic arms everywhere, reducing costs and saving training in areas where personnel are not sufficiently trained. Those responsible hope that Cobi can be a reality within two years.