Could this throat-swabbing robot speed up testing?

Danish researchers say they've built a robot that can keep healthcare workers safe from infection whilst taking swabs.

The so-called "swab robot" is a prototype built by a team at the University of Southern Denmark and Lifeline Robotics.

They hope it can be released soon.

Professor Savarimuthu works with the team.

"The patient identifies themselves with an ID-card. By doing that they actually start the system, the system prepares a new sampling kit, it takes the swab and identifies the swabbing area in the throat of the patient, makes the swab and conceals the sample in the container. This is to help the health care system in collecting the samples. Second of all we can guarantee the quality of the samples. You get exactly the same procedure repeated again and again which will give better quality of the samples."

The research team said the robot is powered by artificial intelligence.

It uses cameras to find the right part of the throat and is programmed to swab it gently.

Lifeline Robotics believe there will be global demand for the device.