Rwanda to deploy robots in COVID-19 fight


Having successfully deployed drones in its fight against COVID-19, Rwanda is now enlisting five robots to bolster its response to the pandemic.

The East African state, already at the forefront in adopting technology in Africa, will use the Belgium-made robots at a COVID-19 treatment center to test patients’ temperatures and to alert authorities when people do not wear face masks.

“I have been so resourceful in countries like South Korea, Switzerland, Netherlands, Belgium and China, where coronavirus started,” one of the robots, known as Zorabots, told assembled medical staff at the Kanyinya facility in the capital, Kigali. “I look forward to do the same in Rwanda. Together we shall prevail.”

The robots can also deliver food and other essential supplies to patients in the treatment center, thereby minimizing contact between the patients and the health workers, according to the director general of the Rwanda Biomedical Center, Sabin Nsanzimana.

The Zorabots are made by a Belgian company with the same name that supplies a range of models with names such as Mario and Pepper for the retail and accommodation industries.

The medical robot is based on the Nao robot, originally designed by Japan’s Softbank Robotics.

With 309 COVID-19 infections with no deaths, Rwanda is one of the countries that has not been devastated much by the pandemic.

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Leonard Tenson


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