A robot has been enlisted as the newest staff member at a Japanese store whose role is to ensure that customers wear masks and follow social distancing guidelines to alleviate the prevalence of COVID-19.
Robot Clerk Ensures Mask Wearing, Social Distancing
Robovie was created by Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute International in Kyoto. It supervises customers on the sales floor at the soccer team Cerezo Osaka's official store to mitigate the prevalence of the novel coronavirus.
The robot underscores the power of a camera and 3D laser beam technology. It would warn the customers if it detects that shoppers are not donning face masks or practicing social distancing.
Robovie's deployment is a trial that commenced last week and would be in operation at least through the end of the month. It could be extended in accordance with the situation, reported The Daily Star.
Osaka shoppers risk being confronted by the wide-eyed machine ordering them to put on a face mask while browsing items for sale. A stern correction is also a consequence for people who do not keep a safe distance from others.
ATR looks to the possibility that the robot will be used to replace employees in shops and help lessen contact between individuals amid the pandemic.
Concerns of a third wave of infections are seemingly gathering momentum in Japan after a record 1,660 new cases were registered on Thursday, reported TRT World.
With the store's layout processed beforehand, the robot is equipped with a camera and sensors in order to observe shoppers' movements and measure distances through lasers as it patrols.
The robot detects customers who are not donning face masks and instructs them to do so following institute staff confirming via a camera that it has not made an oversight.
With an estimated 120,000 reported coronavirus cases and nearly 2,000 fatalities, the nation has soldiered through the pandemic better than other parts of the world. The majority of citizens are compliant with advisories to wear face masks.
However, officials are calling for vigilance following a resurgence in COVID-19 cases as the weather becomes colder and people stay indoors more.
Japan gears up for a probable third wave of infections due to the virus.
The robot could intervene as well when consumers fail to physically distance themselves while lining up to the cash register.
Robovie's creators think most people will feel less humiliated by being asked to correct their mistakes by a robot than by another human being.
Robovie has been programmed to detect all 270 items that are up for purchase. It also helps shoppers to buy items and tells them how to stay safe.
While customers are browsing through the shop, the robot rolls over to them and asks what they are searching for. Robovie's function includes leading customers to their desired items.
Robots are being utilized by the shops to bolster the customer shopping experience and to further affirm the safety of the shoppers within the store.