The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Kenya on Friday, January 22 unveiled smart robots to be deployed to fight the Covid-19 pandemic in the country.
Developed in partnership with the Japanese government which funded the robots project to the tune of Ksh3.7 million, the robots are able to disinfect contaminated areas, perform temperature checks on individuals, check whether masks are being worn and broadcast sensitization messages.
The three robots unveiled were named Shujaa (Hero), Jasiri (Brave) and Tumaini (Hope), and are part of the Ksh240 million UNDP Covid-19 intervention project. They were named in honor of Kenya’s healthcare workers, who have been on the frontline in the fight against the pandemic.
The robots are to be donated to the Ministry of Health. Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe was among those present at the launch. The robots are capable of screening up to 10 to 100 persons per minute at a distance of 2.5-3.5m, and are expected to be deployed to high risk areas.
Thanks to their wide-angle and long reach features, the robots are ideal for saving time spent on screening while protecting individuals from contact transmission.
UNDP noted that the innovation would help reduce secondary transmission of Covid-19 to frontline workers in the country. UNDP Kenya Resident Representative Walid Badawi thanked partners including the Japanese government for collaborating to develop solutions for the Covid-19 era.
“I also take this opportunity to thank all our development partners that have supported UNDP’s and indeed the UN family’s engagement in repurposing existing programmes to address the immediate needs to the national COVID response,” he stated.
Kagwe hailed the use of technology in combatting the pandemic, even as he urged for adherence to various precautionary measures.
The CS broke down various measures being undertaken by the government to keep the pandemic under control.
“Covid-19 has shown us that disease does not respect national boundaries. Today, as we deploy the robots, we shall be a step ahead in combating the virus,” he stated.