SK Telecom-Omron develop a 5G-powered autonomous robot to fight COVID-19

South Korea’s wireless telecommunications operator SK Telecom says it is developing new robotic automation systems to enable a systematic and efficient response against the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

The automated robotics system was developed in collaboration with Omron Electronics Korea. The robot will perform a variety of functions from contactless temperature screenings for visitors, disinfection of building, to requesting social distancing and wearing masks.

It will be equipped with cutting-edge technologies, including 5G, AI, autonomous driving, and IoT. It uses a 5G network to exchange the data in real-time with the server.

The robot autonomously moves towards the visitors to check their body temperatures using a thermal imaging camera. The body temperature test data measured by the robot is sent to the server through a 5G network, and the server analyzes it. In case the measured temperature is 37.5°C (99.5°F) or higher, it sets off an alarm and alerts the control center. SK Telecom will then be able to take necessary measures like prohibiting people with suspicious symptoms from entering the building, etc.

In addition, SK Telecom’s self-developed AI-based recognition technology is applied to the robot. Through this, it will be able to identify places where people are gathered, the robot approaches them and asks to practice social distance. It also requests to wear a face mask to people who do not wear one.

Besides, equipped with UV lamps and two automatic floor disinfectant sprayers, the autonomous robot automatically disinfects the building. It can achieve 99.9% disinfection of 33 square meters of surface areas in just 10 minutes.

The makers are planning to deploy this 5G-powered robot at their headquarters first and will officially launch the device in Korea this year and in global markets next year.

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