Elche’s UMH presents a robot capable of taking samples for PCR tests

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Elche's UMH presents a robot capable of taking samples for PCR tests
CREDIT: "File:UMH 19.jpg" by O.comunicacion is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

A PROFESSOR at the University Miguel Hernánez (UMH) in Elche presented the advances in the development of a robotic arm capable of taking samples from people to perform PCR tests.

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Nicolás García Aracil made the demonstration on Tuesday, December 22, where the professor explained the use of the robot is intended to counteract the high risk of transmission of the virus to personnel who carry out the task of performing PCR tests, both indoors and outdoors.

Researchers at Elche’s UMH, who received funding from the Catalan government in May, have now developed a robotic system for extracting samples to replace healthcare personnel.


According to Garcia Aracil, the extended use of this robot would allow health professionals to focus primarily on the process of vaccinating the population, which is one of the most immediate and important challenges facing society worldwide.

During the demonstration, a fully automated sample collection for PCR by nasopharyngeal smear was carried out. The subject was seated in front of the robot, which is airtight and disinfects the elements inside by means of ultraviolet light without any risk to human health.


The robot detects the end of the duct and performs two or three rotating movements, as established by health protocols. It then extracts the swab, cuts it and stores it with the help of the robot in a portico at a temperature of two to eight degrees. At the end, the subject’s head is released and all the elements are automatically disinfected.


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