The Pepper robot has a built-in camera that scans the faces of people approaching it.
Engineers have created a robot that can detect if people are wearing a mask to protect themselves from COVID-19 and, if not, politely remind them to put it on.
This is a new feature of the humanoid robot Pepper, which has been in use in some countries since before, where it greets visitors to shops, exhibitions and other public places. The Pepper robot has a built-in camera that scans the faces of people approaching it.
If the robot detects that the lower half of a person’s face is not covered, politely remind them that they should wear a protective mask. If they put on a mask after the visitor, the robot thanks them. SoftBank Robotics, which is behind Pepper, explains that their idea was to create a friendly robot that would remind people to wear protective masks if they forgot to do so.
“The idea is not to create a robotic police force to monitor whether people are wearing masks, but to provide a friendly reminder,” said Jonathan Boiria, head of sales at SoftBank Robotics, according to Reuters.