SoftBank Robotics unveils Pepper’s new feature: mask detection

People’s lifestyle has changed a lot these days due to COVID-19 epidemic. Wearing a mask in busy and closed places, following the social distance and hygiene rules have become mandatory.

To support businesses and public places, SoftBank Robotics Europe unveils a new feature with Pepper: AI Face Mask Detection. The friendly humanoid robot stands in public places, and thanks to its cameras, it can scan the faces of a group of people to check if they are wearing a mask. It will also warn those who do not wear masks.

A green circle will appear around an image of anyone wearing a mask
A green circle will appear around an image of anyone wearing a mask. Credit: SoftBank Robotics Europe

The solution is based on an OpenCV image recognition AI and Single Shot Detector. During the interaction, Pepper displays on his tablet a green or red circle around the face depending on whether the person is wearing a mask or not. A green circle will appear around an image of anyone wearing a mask, and a red circle will appear around the image of a person without a mask. It will also give the warning to wear the masks correctly.

This system’s mission is to sort out who wears a mask and those who don’t, with a high recognition score, even on fabric masks with intricate patterns and color schemes.

On the other hand, making a face scan for this process also alerted non-governmental organizations. However, SoftBank Robotics explained that robots do not record and store any personal data.

Earlier last month, Pepper and fellow bot Spot performed at the baseball stadium in Japan to support the players of the Japanese baseball team. It also learned some astounding magic tricks from the world’s leading iPad magician Simon Pierro.

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