Machines similar to Spartanburg County's bomb robot could be use - FOX Carolina 21

Machines similar to Spartanburg County's bomb robot could be used to fight Ebola

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Spartanburg County's bomb robot (FOX Carolina). Spartanburg County's bomb robot (FOX Carolina).
SPARTANBURG, SC (FOX Carolina) - Scientists in the U.S. plan to meet in the upcoming weeks to determine if robots used in rescue missions and on bomb squads could help fight Ebola, according to The New York Times.

But, in Spartanburg County, deputies said while those robots can do a lot, the machines might not be able to master decontamination. 

"Using something like this to do a fine task, something that requires a lot of motor skills, it's going to be rather difficult," said Lt. Ashley Harris.

The Times said scientists nation-wide are looking at ways of outfitting robots, like the one in Spartanburg, to remove bodies and waste and decontaminate clothing and other things that come in contact with infected fluids. 

Harris said that solution may pose another problem, though.

"Somebody's still going to have to get suited up, somebody's still going to have to do the decontamination," said Harris.

While the machine can bring operators into a room through it's "eye", Harris said that too is a limitation. 

"You only have one camera on most robots in the United States so you lose depth perception, you also lose the ability to figure out how hard you're hitting something so as far as cleanup, it would be difficult to implement that," said Harris.

The first brainstorming meeting between the scientists is set for Nov. 7th at four locations: Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Texas A&M, the University of California, Berkeley, and in Washington.

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