The Abstract Podcast

The rise of robots fighting Covid-19

In this episode, we discuss robots’ increasingly helpful role in the age of Covid-19.

Dr. Benjamin Burger / Nature

As the world scrambles to contain the coronavirus, robots have moved to the front lines of the Covid-19 pandemic, assuming a critical role in keeping us safe and helping us cope with life at a distance.

From the “social robots” making our everyday lives a little easier, to the “robot scientists” helping solve the biggest challenges in chemistry — robots are adapting to the crisis in ways humans can’t.

Even though they’re often considered a threat to humans, when it comes to confronting Covid-19, robots actually are on our side.

In this episode of The Abstract, we discuss robots’ increasingly helpful role in the age of Covid-19.

Our first story is about the rise of telepresence technology in the age of Covid-19. Helping us combat the negative effects of social distancing — while keeping us safer at home — “social” robots have become a crucial new tool for everyday life during the coronavirus pandemic.

Our second story is about the potential for new autonomous robot chemists that can complete tasks up to 1,000 times faster than human scientists. As we chase an effective vaccine against Covid-19, the latest advancements in lab robotics offer hope in the race against time — freeing up scientists to make important new discoveries.

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Right now, facts and science matter more than ever. That's part of the reason for The Abstract, this all-new podcast from the Inverse staff that focuses exclusively on science and innovation. Three new episodes are released a week, and each covers one theme via two related stories. Each features audio of original Inverse reporting, where the facts and context take center stage. It's hosted by the Tanya Bustos of WSJ Podcasts. Because we're Inverse, it's all true but slightly off-kilter. It's made for people who want to know the whole story. Nick Lucchesi, executive editor, Inverse

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