In Japan, a robot that ensures the wearing of the mask on trial in stores

Equipped with a camera and several sensors, the Robovie robot is tested in a store in Osaka. Its mission: to monitor compliance with barrier measures.

How to keep stores open despite the health crisis? In Japan, in the grip of a third wave of Covid-19, some are ready to bet on technology. A robot that requires the wearing of a mask in stores is indeed being tested there, report it Daily Telegraph.

Equipped with a camera and several sensors, the Robovie robot, developed by the Kyoto International Telecommunications Research Institute, is currently being tested in the store of a football club in Osaka.

Preprogrammed “Depending on the store layout”, the robot is able to identify customers who do not wear a mask before “To politely ask them to put one on”. Precision from the British daily: the robot only addresses the controlled customer after an operator has confirmed remotely that the mask is indeed missing.


The robot is also able to use its lasers to ensure that physical distancing is respected, by alerting customers “When they stand too close to each other” on the shelves or in line to pay.

Japan has long been “At the forefront of robotic research”, specify it Daily Telegraph. The latter seeks in particular to compensate for the rapid aging of the population and the constant decrease in the workforce in the country.

Japanese robots seem particularly suited to the current crisis. According to the daily, more and more “healing robots” are being marketed in Japan, to help people cope with isolation or reduce contact with friends and family.

The Daily Telegraph mentions a boom in sales of products such as Sony‘s robot dog Aibo, and reports the intervention, in a nursery school in Nagoya, of Lovot, a 43 cm robot with big round eyes, which seems to have come out of a cartoon. His mission : “help children cope with the stress caused by the pandemic ”.

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