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Richmond company unveils health-care robots

Their security and delivery robots are also ready to hit the market and transform the industries
Axniix's founder and CEO Anderson Ly (right) and COO Seleen Ly were photographed with the company's new healthcare robot. | Daisy Xiong

A Richmond-based technology company has developed robots to help with healthcare, security and delivery tasks.

Axniix is hoping this new technology, developed with a Taiwanese robot manufacturer, will transform the health-care sector in Canada by supporting nursing staff and making sure patients are safe.

Axniix, located at 12500 Vickers Way, revealed its new cutting-edge products on Friday.

At a demonstration, a “disinfecting robot” with a UV light on its “arm” moved around to perform tasks such as navigating the environment and disinfecting subjects in the room including tables, plants and the wall.

And a “security robot,” with a 360-degree camera and live feed connected to a phone app, patrolled the area to check for any missing items, unclosed doors or suspicious subjects, and alerted the owner when security concerns were identified.

“Axniix is a company that brings into the market whatever technology the market needs," said Seleen Ly, COO of Axniix and daughter of the company’s founder and CEO Anderson Ly. 

The company has been operating in Vancouver for more than a year and is partnering with Taiwanese robot manufacturer Aeolus to bring the robots to the Canadian market. 

"In Canada right now, one of the biggest things that we think the market needs is the healthcare robot that we have, with the shortage of nurses and caregivers,” said Ly.

“It can help out the nurse in terms of, for example, transporting certain chemicals, doing roaming around and making sure that the patients are where they're supposed to be and there's nothing dangerous going on within each patient's room.”

The robots use artificial intelligence, machine learning and sensors technology and their arms are interchangeable for different tasks depending on the need. 

Another product that was not shown in the demonstration but is also ready for the Canadian market is a delivery robot, which has arms that can grasp handles and open doors.

“The delivery robot is actually used in Asia for delivering packages within apartments. They will go around the apartments, for example, grab the garbage, go through the floors and then deliver to exactly where it needs to be [like a garbage room],” said Ly.

Although still new to the Canadian market, these robots have been tested in countries such as Japan. Mainly targeting companies, governments and organizations, they come with a price ranging from $150,000 to $200,000,  Ly said.

In addition to the ones revealed, the company also plans to bring in other robot products in the future, including a yard snow removal robot.

Ly said she believes that there's a market for automation in every country, but it isn't designed to replace jobs, rather to help people do their job more easily.

“The robot can take over tedious and mind-numbing tasks like roaming around, and more dangerous tasks like sanitizing surfaces and transporting chemicals whether it's in a factory or a hospital, so that people can focus on more important things," she said.