How mask and robotics are used in order to fightback COVID-19 effectively

The coronavirus pandemic has shut the world down like nothing we’ve ever seen before. With the medical community completely shifting their focus and effort on fighting back against this worldwide pandemic by innovating different technologies in face mask and using robots to treat patients, it’s left many without work or anything productive to do.

robotics and mask designing and testing

The coronavirus pandemic has shut the world down like nothing we’ve ever seen before. With the medical community completely shifting their focus and effort on fighting back against this worldwide pandemic by innovating different technologies in face mask and using robots to treat patients, it’s left many without work or anything productive to do.

Around the world, there are a plethora of engineers, physicists, scientists, and otherwise just normal people making superhuman efforts at fighting back against COVID-19. There are thousands of collaborative engineering efforts against COVID-19 taking place each and every day. From 3D printed mask to mechanical ventilators, the STEAM community is putting up a solid fight back against the coronavirus. 

To aid in giving the projects and people visibility as well as highlighting how engineering is being used to combat the coronavirus, this is an engineering coronavirus site here created by interesting engineering. You’ll find a graphical interface to browse through submitted projects and news stories and get a live look at how the virus is spreading. It’s an engineering-centric COVID-19 hub.

3D printed mask solution for coronavirus 

With 3D printing practically in the mainstream, it’s been a primary tool for engineering to fight against the coronavirus. One notable project is that of the NonoHack Mask. While there have been a number of 3D printed masks, this mask design offers up versatility in just what you use for the air filtering portion.

Designed specifically for use with a polypropylene filter material to fit in the bottom, it can provide filtration for up to 96.4% of microorganisms the size of one micron and 89.5% of microorganisms of .02 microns.

3d printed design of a mask

Notably though, due to the way that the interface of the mask was designed, it allows for you to replace the filter material with any other found material if you don’t have access to the specific filter required.

The team behind the mask references research indicates that if you don’t have a polypropylene filter, you might be able to use a modified vacuum cleaner bag, tea towel, or cotton mix as close alternatives. While they won’t be as good as the specially designed filter, the design of the mask allows these other materials to be easily inserted and used.

different types of mask table

Robotic solutions for COVID-19

While there have been a plethora of companies and individuals that have hacked robots to create ventilators for seriously ill patients, we’re going to focus on another robotic innovation helping patients’ well-being: Robot doctors.

Researchers at Chulalongkorn University have rolled out three new telemedicine robots that can aid the doctor-patient relationship while sparing the regular human interaction. The robots can easily be used by hospital staff to communicate with COVID-19 patients remotely.

Specifically, the robots created by the university are going to be used at the Bamrasnaradura Infectious Diseases Institute.

The robots were initially designed by the university team to help care for patients that were recovering from strokes, but they are now being repurposed to supply world-class leading medical care during a time when intense quarantine and isolation is needed.

These robots not only maintain a strict barrier between doctor and patient, but they also help one doctor quickly and easily talk with multiple patients. Seeing multiple patients after one another in hospitals often requires stripping and reapplying medical garb, whereas tele medicine robots can easily avoid that.

robotics used in covid fightback

The robots are capable of assessing the patients’ conditions as well as helping the medical staff to easily track the patients’ symptoms. Read more about the project in the press release from the university here.

You can also take a look at a variety of other robotics solutions for the coronavirus submitted on our engineering COVID-19 page here.

Coronavirus inspired innovations in sanitation and mask

Sanitation has become of a big concern in the overcrowded medical systems where coronavirus outbreaks are peaking. In many places, there is a serious deficit in medical supplies that is forcing doctors and nurses to reuse their surgical mask.

This presents a need for a device that can quickly and easily disinfect surgical mask with a 100% success rate. That is exactly what Prescientx, a company located in Ontario, Canada, has tried to create.

They have engineered a device that can disinfect N95 mask utilizing ultraviolet, or UV light. The device is situated overtop of the masks and a UV-C light is shone on the mask at different angles for differing amounts of time. That said, it doesn’t take very long to disinfect just one mask. In fact, the device, called the Terminator CoV, can disinfect up to 500 masks per hour. This can be life-changing for medical staff across the world as they battle the need for safe and clean protective gear.

The machine isn’t just specific to one kind of N95 mask, either. Thanks to the way that it is built, it works practically universally with a variety of mask types and sizes. The masks are driven through a reflective aluminum tunnel for disinfection. While in this tunnel the UV-C light is shone, being sure to hit the masks at all angles, as UV light rays cannot pass through the N95 grade mask material.

The speed of the conveyor on which the masks are taken through the disinfected tunnel and the height of that tunnel can be adjusted with ease, making the device practically universal. Take a look at a small demo of the device in the video below.

How you can get involved

It doesn’t take much to start getting involved in the engineering fight against the novel coronavirus. If you have a project that you’ve worked on or know of a project someone else worked on, submit it to COVID-19 engineering site so the rest of the world can learn about all of the advancements being made.

Source: Interesting Engineering

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Canon EOS R5 DSLR: Every new feature you should know

Canon has finally thrown some light on the feature and design aspect of its much-anticipated camera EOS R5. Canon believes the all-new Canon EOS R5 is one of its most significant cameras after its full-frame Canon EOS 5D Mark III. Through a live-streaming press event, the camera maker has highlighted the details of the camera and also explained why they believe the upcoming DSLR can do spectacularly well once it hits the market.

Canon has finally thrown some light on the feature and design aspect of its much-anticipated camera EOS R5. Canon believes the all-new Canon EOS R5 is one of its most significant cameras after its full-frame Canon EOS 5D Mark III. Through a live-streaming press event, the camera maker has highlighted the details of the camera and also explained why they believe the upcoming DSLR can do spectacularly well once it hits the market.

canon eos r5 first look

Canon EOS R5 could record videos in 8K resolution

As explained in the live streaming event, the upcoming Canon EOS R5 would be capable of recording 8K resolution videos at 30 frame-per-second in 4:2:2 10-bit C-Log and HDR PQ. The much-anticipated camera would also be capable of recording 4K videos as well at 120 frame-pre-second in 4:2:2 10-bit C-Log and HDR PQ to keep action photographers happy. The upcoming camera could also record 4K videos at 60 frame-per-second over HDMI.

The camera maker explained, the Canon EOS R5 would utilise the full width of the sensor and won’t crop while recording any video at 8K or 4K resolution. The camera would also utilise the dual pixel CMOS AF while recording any high-resolution video in 8K or 4K resolution. Photographers can also avail of the C-Log while using the camera in 8K and 4K internal recording modes.

For the action photographers

Besides, the Canon EOS R5 would utilise optical image stabilisation and 5-axis in-body image stabilisation with the RF and EF based lenses. For users’ convenience, the camera would also sport a dual card slot which would be capable of holding a CFexpress and an SD UHS-II card.

Canon has remained tight-lipped regarding the availability or the price of EOS R5. The company has also remained silent regarding the sensor size and other details of the camera. But according to earlier leaks, the Canon EOS R5 is expected to come with a compact design in contrast to other popular video cameras in the market. The Canon EOS R5 is expected to hit the shelves before the festive season this year.

Source: International Business Times

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Dolby Audio vs IMAX ? Which one is better

Dolby Atmos is better sounding environment when compared to current IMAX’s 6channel sound. But once MDA is adopted to IMAX, it will definitely takes on Dolby Atmos.

First of all, we have few sound codecs for cinemas. Let us leave about 2 channel stereo sound, the traditional 5.1 channel sound has been so popular.
Dolby’s AC-3 also known as Dolby Digital and its rival from DTS which is DTS 5.1
Dolby’s AC-3 supports bit-rates upto 640kbps, where as DTS gives 1596kpbs.
And then Dolby came up with a compressed loss less audio format Dolby True HD with bit-rates varying from 15 to 18 Mbps where as DTS’s DTA HD MA gives 18 – 24 Mbps. Both supports upto 7.1 channel sound system.
Coming to our original question, now the companies Barco, Dolby and DTS has come up with their own immersive audio codecs and solutions that are Auro 3D, Atmos and X respectively.

Dolby Audio and Auro 3D

auro 3d

It is designed along three layers of sound (surround, height and overhead ceiling), building on the single horizontal layer used in the 5.1 or 7.1 sound format. Auro-3D creates a spatial sound field by adding a height layer around the audience on top of the traditional 2D surround sound system. This additional layer reveals both localized sounds and height reflections complementing the sounds that exist in the lower surround layer. The height information that is captured during recording is mixed into a standard 5.1 surround PCM carrier, and during playback the Auro-3D decoder extracts the originally recorded height channels from this stream.

AuroMax expands on the basic layout used by Auro 11.1 and Auro 13.1 by dividing the side, rear and ceiling channels into “zones”, to allow for placement of sound at discrete points along the theatre wall or ceiling as well as within the theatre itself. The principle employed is similar to other object based formats such as Dolby Atmos or DTS:X.

The Auro-3D technology consists of the Auro-3D Engine and a Creative Tool Suite. The engine comprises the Auro-Codec and the Auro-Matic upmixing algorithm to convert legacy content into the Auro-3D format. The Creative Tool Suite is a set of plugins that can be used to create native immersive 3D audio content. Auro-3D is fully compatible with all existing production processes and theatre systems, and the format also offers a host of compatibility features such as Single Inventory Distribution (multiple formats are combined in one PCM carrier) and full DCI compliancy.

Coming to, Dolby Atmos and DTS:X are object based/oriented. Dolby Atmos contains 7.1 channel bed + virtually unlimited number of audio objects. DTS:X (32 speaker channels supported as of now) which is the most scalable, purely object oriented flexible audio codec recently been addressed by DTS. DTS:X doesn’t require any specifica speaker configuration. It can be accostomed any other immersive formats including Atmos and Auro.

Dolby Atmos Audio

dolby atmos audio

Dolby Atmos is a surround sound technology developed by Dolby Laboratories. It expands on existing surround sound systems by adding height channels, allowing sounds to be interpreted as three-dimensional objects. Following the release of Atmos for the cinema market, a variety of consumer technologies have been released under the Atmos brand, using in-ceiling and up-firing speakers.

DTS: X Audio

dolby dts x audio

DTS:X allows the “location” (direction from the listener) of “objects” (audio tracks) to be specified as polar coordinates. The audio processor is then responsible for dynamically rendering sound output depending on the number and position of speakers available. Dolby Atmos uses a similar technique, although the speaker layout employed by cinema DTS:X is the sum of Dolby Atmos and Auro-3D. The layout showcased at AMC Burbank theatre number 8 has a standard eight channel base layer, a five channel height layer on top of the base layer (on the front and side walls) and three rows of speakers on the ceiling. The surround arrays are bass managed by woofers suspended from the ceiling.

And now comparing IMAX to Dolby audio

dolby audio vs imax
(PR Newsfoto/ IMAX Corporation)

IMAX uses their own 6 channel sound solution, unlike Dolby’s AC-3 or DTS’s DTS5.1. IMAX says its sound is about 12000@W RMS power.
IMAX was planning to launch its own immersive audio (3D sound).
DTS:X is drawn from SRS lab’s MDA (multi dimentional audio). MDA facilitates mix once use anywhere feature. Where as Dolby Atmos cinemas mix is different from home or Blu-ray mix. But MDA files can be used in cinemas, satellite broadcaseting, Blu-ray discs and even in DVDs.
To prove the above, now it has been shout out that, IMAX uses MDA for its future movies. IMAX’s immersive sound is not equal to DTS:X but DTS:X and IMAX immersive sound is taken from a common core audio codec file that is MDA.
So far now, we can say Dolby Atmos is better sounding environment when compared to current IMAX’s 6channel sound. But once MDA is adopted to IMAX, it will definitely takes on Dolby Atmos.
Finally I can say, DTS:X will be the winner among the other (Auro3D, Dolby Atmos and IMAX immersive audio taken from MDA).
* Immersive audio consists, ear level and height channels.

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