Industry News Details


As the COVID-19 pandemic sweeps the globe, big data and AI have emerged as crucial tools for everything from diagnosis and epidemiology to therapeutic and vaccine development. Here, we collect the latest news in how big data is fighting back against COVID-19.

Robots and robotics, the two ambiguous terms, have gained more traction after the onset of the COVID-19 crisis. From automating the industry chains to monitoring the public crowd, the resourcefulness in the pandemic is undeniable. Before that, robots have already worked in environments or job lines that are deemed hostile or beyond the basic scope of humans. In short, they have always been there in our hard times and have enabled us to move towards a digitally enhanced future.

During this global health emergency, robots have helped us either by carrying health samples, distributing ration, test kits, sanitizing public spaces, conducting surveillance, and many more lifesaving acts. Denmark-based Blue Ocean Robotics has developed an autonomous mobile robot that can enter a room and disinfect it with UV-C light, without exposing medical co-workers to the potentially harmful radiations. ABB’s dual-arm mobile YuMi robot can move its way around people using attached sensors. Its functions include deploying medicines, bed linens to patients, etc.

The adoption of robotics in the pharmaceuticals and drug discovery is expected to grow from US$2.05 billion in 2019 to US$4.87 billion in 2023, growing at a CAGR of 18.9 percent. Now, robots are ready to help the healthcare industry by assisting in drug discovery too. Although robotics and robots in pharmaceuticals is not a new topic, the coronavirus pandemic has pushed for the mainstream usage of the same in this industry.

Berkeley University is using robotics to leverage its pop-up testing lab. An automated liquid-handling robot analyzes swabs from patients and to diagnose them for COVID-19. Andrew+ a pipetting robot, from Andrew Alliance S.A., a Geneva, Switzerland-based company, can help to carry out repetitive manual experiments and tasks. All these robots have been helpful to humankind to fight against COVID-19 while allowing them to maintain social distancing. In July, Insilico Medicine, a biotechnology company developing an end-to-end drug discovery pipeline utilizing next-generation artificial intelligence, had announced a partnership with Arctoris, the world’s first fully automated drug discovery platform. The objective of this partnership is to discover, synthesize, and profile a set of inhibitors for COVID-19 treatment.

The process of discovering any new drug that can cure a disease is like finding a needle in a haystack. Further, it is an incredibly expensive, arduous, and time-consuming solution. The conventional pipeline for discovering new drugs can take between five and ten years from the concept stage to being released to the market, costing billions in the process. The pharmaceutical industry is increasingly making use of robotics to automate specific processes into drug development. This includes drug screening, anti-counterfeiting, and manufacturing tasks. Along with Artificial Intelligence and machine learning, it can help ramp up the speed of drug discovery. View More