While Korea has always been ahead of most of its contemporaries in the deployment of robotics for the manufacturing and other sectors, this time on, the nation has gone a step ahead and has been adopting the robotics technology to combat the pandemic that is ravaging the globe.
Renowned conglomerates Omron Electronics Korea and SK telecom have reportedly developed a unique automated robot that is being deployed in the country to fight against the dreaded COVID-19. Powered by SK telecom’s 5G technology, the robot is designed to transmit data to its server in real time. It is a self-driving robot equipped with an LED screen and cameras, and is being employed at the lobby of SK Telecom’s headquarters, as it performs functions such as dispensing hand sanitizer, checking the temperature of people going in and out, and disinfecting the floor.
For the uninitiated, South Korea has been among the handful of countries that has been able to contain the dreaded epidemic in a very phased and systematic manner. Presently, it is transitioning from an intensive social distancing norm and is shifting towards what the government has labelled “distancing in daily life.”
As per sources, this robot uses AI technology to detect gatherings and accordingly advises people to disperse and maintain social distancing. It sets off an alarm in case it detects that anyone’s temperature is over 99.5 Fahrenheit (37.5 Celsius) and also reminds people to put on a mask, in case they haven’t got one on. Reportedly, it is armed with ultraviolet lamps as well as two disinfectant sprayers, with the help of which it can disinfect 99% of a surface area of 355 square feet (33 square meters) within 10 minutes.
Ra Kyhong-hwan, Head, Data Business Cooperation, SK Telecom, has been quoted to state that this robot is likely to reduce people-to-people contact and lower the time taken for temperature detection at the entrance. Apparently, the robot developers have also added a function to hide faces that are mirrored in the screen in order to protect people’s privacy, claimed Ra.
Numerous SMEs in the region also seem to be deploying robots for everyday operations. For instance, in a café located at Daejeon, a robot does not just take orders, but also brings them to customers at their seats, in addition to making 60 different types of drinks.