Robots aid in combating coronavirus in UAE

By Omnia al Desoukie

Dubai, Jun 2 (efe-epa).- Robots detecting fever, distributing hand sanitizers, sterilizing spaces, delivering food, and even answering questions about the coronavirus are joining health workers in the United Arab Emirates in the battle against the Covid-19.

Reliable Robotics, a local tech company, has been renting bots for events to welcome guests with a screen and a customizable menu of options.

But when the Covid-19 broke out in the Gulf nation, the company decided to take on more social responsibility and use these bots in combating the spread of the disease.

Aswin Sarang, the director of Robotics and Artificial Intelligence of Reliable Robotics, told EFE that the firm began with four robots, changed customized their abilities for aiding in the protection against the virus in a country with almost 35,000 cases and close to 300 fatalities due to the disease.

Pepper is one in the family of the four robots.

It is a small white humanoid 1.20 meters tall and weighs 28 kg with the capacity to operate for about 12 hours and is probably the most sociable of the small family of four robots.

Pepper can help doctors communicate with their patients remotely without having to be in the same room, thereby limiting contact with the infected to prevent the contagion.

This humanoid not only understands and speaks 15 languages, according to the company but is also capable of detecting emotions in people and even recognizing their faces.

These abilities enable the bot to raise awareness and educate people about the virus through conversations and his screen.

The little man has a rougher-looking brother with broad shoulders that comes equipped with a highly sensitive thermal sensor and an optical sensor to determine if a person has a fever. It has a smart sanitizer dispenser also.

The robot is designed to collaborate in the fight against the virus at airports, shopping centers, or hospitals.

The third member of the bot family can sterilize and disinfect rooms when there are no people.

Finally, the last of the brothers, Baristabot, makes “contact-free” deliveries and is capable of delivering basic products such as medicines and food to quarantined patients in hospitals or isolation centers.

“We are looking at it as an application approach, not a hardware approach. We are using what’s in the market and finding healthcare solutions,” Sarang told EFE.

He explained that the adaptation has been done through the development of applications and systems such as thermal cameras to detect fever.

“Each of our systems is fully customizable, which means we can add more features,” he said, noting that the bots are capable of moving around autonomously.

All four can be rented, and according to Sarang, the company is already negotiating with some hospitals to get the little men to work before the end of the month.

“As a technology company, we have a social responsibility to fulfill, especially in a situation like this. So, we use our resources to confront this pandemic,” said Sarang. EFE/EPA


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