CAE’s Tao Shen Designs Device to Fight COVID-19
Robotics expert Tao Shen, Ph.D., assistant professor, College of Aeronautics and Engineering (CAE), was approached by Summa Health System Hospital at Akron to design a device that can be used to more safely obtain nose and throat swabs for COVID-19 testing, minimizing the risk of medical workers’ exposure.
Shen and his mechatronics engineering students quickly generated several potential design concepts.
“We are positioned with both talent and state-of-the art facilities to be a positive force against COVID-19,” says Christina Bloebaum, Ph.D., dean, CAE. “I’m very proud of our faculty and students who have stepped-up to make a difference.”
Researchers at Summa Health are very interested in a key design. Next steps include fabricating a 3D prototype of the device using CAE laboratories for optimization. Shen and the Ohio-based hospital system are also looking into potential manufacturers to produce the final product. Shen’s patent-pending invention is a self-collected swab.
After a 3D device prototype is created, Shen will send the instrument to Summa Health for further testing and application.
“I feel so honored to have a chance to make some contributions to help the medical heroes in the fight against such a horrific pandemic,” Shen says. “I also feel grateful to have strong support from our college and university for this invention even in a closed-campus situation.”
The College of Aeronautics and Engineering is committed to improving lives through research and being part of the COVID-19 eradication solution.