Editor's note

Social distancing has become a mantra as society confronts the coronavirus pandemic, but social distancing isn’t an option for health care workers and first responders. Not everything medical workers do has to be hands-on, however. Robots are increasingly handling many routine hospital tasks, from delivering meals to sterilizing rooms. It’s a case of automation reducing drudgery and limiting danger.

Texas A&M roboticist Robin Murphy and her colleagues have catalogued two dozen ways robots are being used around the world to respond to the pandemic, in hospitals and beyond.

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Eric Smalley

Science and Technology Editor

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A nurse (left) operates a robot used to interact remotely with coronavirus patients while a physician looks on. MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP via Getty Images

Robots are playing many roles in the coronavirus crisis – and offering lessons for future disasters

Robin R. Murphy, Texas A&M University ; Justin Adams, FAMU-FSU College of Engineering; Vignesh Babu Manjunath Gandudi, Texas A&M University

Robots are helping health care workers and public safety officials more safely and quickly treat coronavirus patients and contain the pandemic. They have something in common: They're tried and tested.

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