Sunday, 20 September 2020

COVID robocop: The droid that reminds you to wear your mask

French robot Pepper, detecting whether people are wearing face masks and if not, instructs them to wear them, is displayed at French robotics developer SoftBank Robotics in Paris as the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues to spread out across France, on September 8, 2020. (REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes)

LONDON: Engineers have developed a robot that can detect whether people are wearing a mask to guard against COVID-19 and, if not, politely remind them to put one on.

The feature is an upgrade of Pepper, a 120 cm high robot with human-like features that is already in operation in some countries welcoming visitors to shops, exhibitions and other public spaces.

Pepper’s camera scans the faces of people approaching it, and if it detects the lower half of their face is uncovered, it pronounces the phrase: “You have to always wear a mask properly.”

If it sees that the visitor then puts on a mask, the robot follows up with the phrase: “Thank you for having put on your mask.”

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