Washington Post l Robots for Social Distancing

Jul 14, 2020 | Content

No masks, no coughs: Robots can be just what the doctor ordered in time of social distancing

TOKYO — As the coronavirus pandemic rewrites the rules of human interaction, it also has inspired new thinking about how robots and other machines might step in.

The stuff of the bot world — early factory-line automation up to today’s artificial intelligence — has been a growing fact of life for decades. The worldwide health crisis has added urgency to the question of how to bring robotics into the public health equation.

Nowhere is that truer than in Japan, a country with a long fascination with robots, from android assistants to robot receptionists. Since the virus arrived, robots have offered their services as bartenders, security guards and deliverymen.

But they don’t necessarily need to supplant humans, researchers say. They can also bridge the gap between people mindful of social distance — now or when the next major contagion hits.

This article was originally published by Simon Denyer, Akiko Kashiwagi and
Min Joo Kim at The Washington Post.  To view the full article about Ohmni Robot for social distancing, please click the button below. 

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