Drones deliver, disinfect
Beyond taking photos and recording videos, drones are proving they can do more in these difficult times. Now that social distancing has become the new normal in order to prevent the spread of the virus, drones are being used for delivery and disinfection. In China, drones are able to transport essential medical and food supplies, and spray at-risk locations. According to drone maker DJI, there are models that can carry up to 6kg of essential supplies to hospitals, or load up to 16L disinfectant liquid and spray an area of 100,000sqm per hour.
With drone use shifting from leisure to pandemic response, drone types to look out for when sourcing are long-flight and agricultural variants. There are already drones in the market that fly more than 20 minutes to cover larger areas for delivery or monitoring, and agriculture-use versions that can be modified to hold disinfectants instead of water or pesticides.
Robots ready to serve, substitute
Waiter, receptionist or factory worker turned medical personnel, student or employee: that’s how robots’ occupations are changing. In past years, robots have taken the spotlight at consumer tech shows and in supplier catalogs as being able to serve food, entertain guests or manufacture things. But in the ongoing pandemic, robots have shown they can check on and give out medical supplies to patients, and stand in for people to attend important events or do many other jobs during the COVID-19 crisis.
The Texas A&M University and Center for Robot-Assisted Search and Rescue, after analyzing more than 120 press and social media reports from 21 countries, has found that robots “are playing a notable role in almost every aspect of managing the crisis”, The Conversation reports.
Robots helping out in many ways during the COVID-19 situation, upgraded releases from robotics manufacturers and a rise in the production capabilities of top hubs have led to robot sales going up recently. Meticulous Research reports that certain China factories are seeing daily orders nearly double to more than half a million, as an example.
Given all this, now is the best time for importers to stock up on versatile robots. Examples are models with built-in monitors and speakers for teleconferencing, trays for transporting a variety of items, and interactive features.
Health wearables ready to help
With many hospitals across the globe facing a surge in the number of patients due to the crisis, it has become harder to get check-ups. The good thing is wearables of today are already capable of checking multiple health parameters. Companies are even looking at how these devices can predict a coronavirus even before symptoms appear. Fitbit, as mentioned in a Forbes article, thinks that wearables might help in detecting, tracking and containing diseases like COVID-19. The company is also working with researchers to analyze Fitbit device users’ data to gauge the possibilities.
The global pandemic is expected to draw consumers more into wearables, and manufacturers are already responding to the trend. Research firm IDC, according to the South China Morning Post, forecasts wearables makers will ship 30 percent more devices this year due to the COVID-19 situation.
Good news for the importer, besides wearables rising in supply, is that releases are also getting better features-wise. Smart watches and bracelets that can check beyond heart rate are emerging. New models even track body temperature, blood glucose levels, women’s cycles, sleep, diet and more to suit current healthcare data needs.
Smartphone sterilizers rise
Protection against COVID-19 not just means social distancing, better personal hygiene and disinfected spaces, but clean personal gadgets, too, as those are frequently touched items where dirt and viral particles may stay on. Due to this, the smartphone sterilizer has become very popular in the market.
The Straits Times reports sales of UV box sanitizers growing more than double for many companies worldwide. Available in box-, power bank- or stick-shaped variants, these products have suddenly become a hot must-source item for buyers. A number of models double as aroma diffusers and also work on jewelry and other personal items.
As for where importers can find in-demand products for pandemic response and source them easily, that is where GlobalSources.com comes in. Buyers can start with these standouts from Verified Suppliers:
Shenzhen Xuyue Technology Co. Ltd
Shenzhen Xuyue’s model ST-180B robot supports automatic disinfection. It can also be app-controlled. Maximum spray volume is 3,000mL per hour and atomization radius is 4m. The robot can store up to 16L hydrogen peroxide, sodium hypochlorite or peroxyacetic acid in its tank. Price is $9,900. MOQ is 20 units.
Shenzhen Top-Peak Electronics Co. Ltd
The model DF-T4C agricultural sprayer drone from Shenzhen Top-Peak can store up to 20L in its tank. It has six propellers. FOB price is $4,200 per set.
Shenzhen Star A e-Commerce Co. Ltd
Shenzhen Star offers the H23S model, a smart watch that can detect body temperature and heart rate, monitor sleep and remind about hydration. The product also displays weather updates, alerts about calls and messages, and functions as an alarm clock. FOB price is $9.88 to $16.88. MOQ is five units.
Inbot Technology Ltd
Inbot’s X1-1-8-4843 model supports video chat and auto wake-up function. The robot can also greet people, play songs and store photos. Running on a 20,000mAh battery, it works up to 10 hours per charge. FOB price is $6,500.
Shenzhen Fwillsoon Technology Co. Ltd
The model F11-1688 drone from Shenzhen Fwillsoon is 5G-ready. Powered by a 11.1V 2,500mAh lithium battery, it flies up to 25 minutes. The drone has a 1080p camera. Price is $130 to $160.
Quanzhou Best Outdoor Equipment Co. Ltd
The UV0428-3 model from Quanzhou Best is a mobile phone sterilizer and storage box. This 2-in-1 product can also disinfect glasses, watches and beauty supplies. FOB price is $20.98 to $25.98. MOQ is 100 pieces.