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In Robotics and autonomous systems

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak has increased mortality and morbidity world-wide. Oropharyngeal swabbing is a well-known and commonly used sampling technique for COVID-19 diagnose around the world. We developed a robot to assist with COVID-19 oropharyngeal swabbing to prevent frontline clinical staff from being infected. The robot integrates a UR5 manipulator, rigid-flexible coupling (RFC) manipulator, force-sensing and control subsystem, visual subsystem and haptic device. The robot has strength in intrinsically safe and high repeat positioning accuracy. In addition, we also achieve one-dimensional constant force control in the automatic scheme (AS). Compared with the rigid sampling robot, the developed robot can perform the oropharyngeal swabbing procedure more safely and gently, reducing risk. Alternatively, a novel robot control schemes called collaborative manipulation scheme (CMS) which combines a automatic phase and teleoperation phase is proposed. At last, comparative experiments of three schemes were conducted, including CMS, AS, and teleoperation scheme (TS). The experimental results shows that CMS obtained the highest score according to the evaluation equation. CMS has the excellent performance in quality, experience and adaption. Therefore, the proposal of CMS is meaningful which is more suitable for robot-sampling.

Chen Yongquan, Wang Qiwen, Chi Chuliang, Wang Chengjiang, Gao Qing, Zhang Heng, Li Zheng, Mu Zonggao, Xu Ruihuan, Sun Zhenglong, Qian Huihuan


Collaborative manipulation scheme, Evaluation metrics, Micro-pneumatic actuator, Oropharyngeal swabbing robot, Rigid–flexible coupling manipulator