Belgium has rolled out coronavirus robots that speak more than 53 languages, detect fever and determine if people are wearing face masks properly. This is done as the first line of control in hospitals and shops.
Anyone arriving at the University Hospital Antwerp from next Tuesday will be expected to answer questions online or at an interactive kiosk. The robot will then scan a QR code, review their answers provided, check their temperature and determine if they are wearing a mask correctly.
Fabrice Goffin, chief executive of Belgium-based Zorabots, said his robots had been in hospitals, care homes and hotels since 2013, but had now found a new role. His coronavirus robots will not test for coronavirus but could provide useful signs.
“The big advantage of this robot relative to a fixed terminal is that the robot can move, can go towards people, can speak to people and speak in their native tongue. It speaks more than 53 languages,” he told Reuters TV.
Michael Vanmechelen, manager of the hospital’s operating theatres, said someone displaying signs of fever could be steered by the robot, a non-touch device, to a separate area.
The hospital typically receives 2,000 patients a day and is due to start readmitting visitors next week as life in Belgium returns to relative normality after the coronavirus lockdown.