COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc, now more in Europe than in Asia, where it originated. China appears to have already passed the peak of infection, they have indicated. On the other hand, South Korea is one of the countries that have best-slowed contagion. In addition to restrictive measures for society, different autonomous technologies have also been deployed to aid in the efforts to control the coronavirus.
One of the most effective ways to stop COVID-19 infections is by avoiding human contact. This also implies avoiding human contact by those who help with disinfection, cleaning or contagion control. Consequence? These weeks, a multitude of autonomous robots, drones and other technologies have emerged to help with the work.
Robots to disinfect, drones to monitor
China, origin and major focus of COVID-19, is one of the countries that has bet the most on technology to deal with the coronavirus. As we have seen, the country’s main technology companies have deployed apps and services to keep track of those infected. But not only technology in services has been seen in practice, but also hardware at street level. As indicated in Bloomberg, Neelix autonomous vans have been in high demand in recent weeks thanks to the fact that they allow items to be transported autonomously avoiding human contact. The vans have been especially used to transport medical supplies and to disinfect the streets of infected areas.
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Other robots are responsible for distributing food and other goods in hotels to avoid human contact:
— China Xinhua News (@XHNews) January 27, 2020
Continuing with China, the authorities have also deployed a series of drones to monitor and surveillance society in the foci of COVID-19 infection. As Global Times collects, they have equipped the drones with high-resolution cameras and speakers to find users who do not wear masks or are outside their homes in prohibited areas. Voice instructions are given through the speakers to alert citizens.
Walking around without a protective face mask? Well, you can't avoid these sharp-tongued drones! Many village and cities in China are using drones equipped with speakers to patrol during the #coronavirus outbreak. pic.twitter.com/ILbLmlkL9R
— Global Times (@globaltimesnews) January 31, 2020
In another video published this time by People’s Daily China (a Chinese government media) in early February, a drone was shown analyzing the real-time temperature of citizens from the balcony of their homes.
Fear physical contact amid the #CoronavirusOutbreak? How about having your temperature taken by a drone? At Zhangjiashan community in E China's Jiangxi, you only need to stand on your balcony for a temperature check. pic.twitter.com/zU5lqWljxd
— People's Daily, China (@PDChina) February 3, 2020
COVID-19 control measures in Hong Kong
In Hong Kong, they have also opted for autonomous robots to disinfect public spaces. The subways, which transport a massive amount of people, are a place of a high risk of contagion. That is why the authorities have begun to deploy a small robot. That is responsible for spraying each wagon to kill germs. As indicated, the substance used for spraying reaches small areas where it is not generally possible to clean manually. So far they have deployed a fleet of 20 robots.