Mechanical Engineering


UCL MechEng develops droplet tracking robot helping to discover how Covid spreads

19 July 2021

The study was featured in an ITV London News Report.

Diagram showing the spread of droplets

Scientists at from UCL Mechanical Engineering and UCLH studying how the virus spreads have developed a robot which tracks how droplets move through the air.

In a world first, it’s being used in a London hospital to track how Covid spreads.

Colleagues from UCL MechEng and UCLH combine on the Safe Return study

It is hoped the robot can be used in theatres and tubes to discover how Covid-19 spreads. 

Using a super slo-mo camera scientists will be able to monitor what difference things like ventilation, air conditioning and masks have.

Dr Andrea Ducci tells ITV News: “We create some droplets. The droplets getting out of the mouth of our android and then we look at this plume with a laser we can illuminate the droplets and we have a high-speed camera which eventually will capture the position and then we can capture the images.”

With a mask on “you don’t see much” but remove the mask and it is a different story.

Read the full news item on ITV News London.