Temperature Taking Robots Help Fight Coronavirus in Hong Kong

With a high fever being one of the most common symptoms of the coronavirus, taking a potential carrier’s temperature is essential for diagnosis. Normally temperature is taken by human medical personnel, but with the call to cut down on interaction during the crisis many are looking at other options. 

Meet Roborn Technology. The Hong Kong-based company has been fast-tracking a robot designed to measure body temperature. The mobile bot includes two cameras mounted on retractable poles. One camera is for filming while the other is used for thermal imaging. If someone’s temperature goes over a certain level, data will be sent immediately to an operations center for further action.

“We started to design the mobile robot on January 25, and it took us 15 days to complete the prototype’s infrastructure, artificial intelligence, and back-office software,” co-founder Mark Mak Hin-yu.

Roborn Temperature Taking Robot Powered by 5G

The robot’s 5G capacity allows data and video to be streamed in real-time. For instance, the bot can be placed at an entrance and data be monitored by security and medical personal who are stationed in another location. This helps cut down on human to human interaction while still allowing those possibly with the virus to be identified.

The robot can be programmed to move to different locations throughout the day. An onboard video screen displays epidemic prevention information and knowledge. If a person displays an abnormal body temperature, it will advise them on further steps.

The artificial intelligence focuses on a person’s head for temperature checks meaning it won’t trigger a false alarm if someone is simply holding a hot cup of coffee. As far as privacy goes, the company says that it’s up to the robot’s customers.

“Some just want live-streaming for alerts with no video recording, while others want all data – including the number of passers-by – recorded and kept for follow-ups,” Mak said. “We provide flexibility for them to pick and choose, as we can do the whole spectrum.”

Temperature Taking Roborn - YellRobot

Pilot Programs in Hong Kong

The company feels the robot can be useful in places like hospitals, offices, and shopping malls. Pilot programs are being conducted at places like Hong Kong’s Electrical and Mechanical Services Department, Ko Shan Theatre, and the Admiralty licensing office of the country’s Transportation Department.

With the recent pandemic, demand for Roborn’s temperature taking robots has skyrocketed. The company expects about 50-100 orders from places in Hong Kong and Macau. As far as pricing goes, high-specification units can cost up to $50,000 US.

Engineers at the company had also been developing robots geared towards delivering hospital drugs, helping the elderly and managing real estate. With the current crisis, they put those projects on hold to focus on the body temperature measurement robot.

“We have to prioritize this project because such robots would facilitate the reopening of schools and workplaces, which is very important for our society,” Mak said.

Check out our articles on Yumi the robot nurse and 5 ways AI is fighting the coronavirus.