Amid social distancing, these robots are distributing hygiene essentials, spreading awareness on coronavirus epidemic

Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM) is creating awareness about COVID-19 with the help of robots that distribute masks, napkins, and sanitizers.

The coronavirus scare is spreading across the states, and if not soon, people have started to understand the gravity of the situation now. However, several people still don’t understand why the populace is wearing masks, but they wear it anyway, not knowing the other risks that tag along with it.

While masks do provide protection, unless it is teamed with frequent cleansing and basic hygiene practices, wearing them becomes futile. And Kerala, where the early cases of coronavirus were detected, is playing its part in keeping the society aware.

The robots help spread awareness about COVID-19 (Image: Manorama Online)

The Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM), a state government agency, has taken the initiative to create awareness about the pandemic. Kerala-based startup Asimov Robotics has created two robots to deal with the scare.

One of the robots distributes face masks, napkins, and sanitisers, while the other has a display screen that shows the World Health Organisation’s campaign to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

These robots will be stationed in public places where they can approach people and help spread the message. The robots also do other tasks such as cleaning the doors and answering queries related to coronavirus.

According to India Today, Saji Gopinath, Chief Executive Officer, KSUM said, “The institution was mulling over installing such robots in public places such as airports.” He added, “All startups being incubated at KSUM too were being given health guidelines in the context of coronavirus.”
Jayakrishnan T, Founder and CEO of Asimov Robotics told ANI, "Robots are crowd pullers, so we can spread our message effectively. They are distributing hand sanitizers, masks, and sharing info about the pandemic.”

Shashi Tharoor, the Thiruvananthapuram-based Member of Parliament, also tweeted about the initiative with a video of the robots. The video showed one of the robots approaching a group with masks and sanitisers, while the other robot is seen to be answering questions.

At a time when the public is socially distancing themselves to avoid the spread of COVID-19, startups are coming up with innovations that can help with the cause.

(Edited by Suman Singh)

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