- Out of 2,300 COVID-19 cases in the state 906 are in Chennai
- City police to try out a robot for surveillance
- Robot prototype to be tested in containment zones
New Delhi: In Tamil Nadu, more than 2,300 cases of coronavirus have been reported and about 85 per cent of the cases have been reported from Chennai. So to take on the pandemic the city’s police has introduced a robot cop to assist people living in containment areas. According to the ministry of health and family welfare, containment zones are those where many people have been tested positive for the coronavirus. As a result, it becomes difficult for police officials to physically man these areas without the risk of getting infected themselves.
And that’s where these ‘Robot Cops’ will play an essential role. For now, we have got one prototype of the Robot Cop, which we have deployed in Meenambal Puram Street which is a containment zone in Mylapore with 11 COVID-19 cases. The robot features a two-way intercom for making announcements and communicating with the public. Additionally, it features a camera and can take real-time pictures. This ‘Robot Cop’ will go on rounds in the area and monitor people’s movement. If it sees people carelessly roaming around, it will take pictures and send it to us, the police officer manning the robot from outside can see it and make announcements real-time and instruct people to stay home and be safe. In simple terms, the robot cop acts like the eyes and ears of the police officer who is manning the area from some distance. This reduces the chance of the police officer getting infected with this highly contagious virus, said the spokesperson of the Chennai Police.
The robot that has been built in a mere 4 days is a collaboration between Chennai police, Chennai-based Robot companies like Callidai Motorworks and Robothoughts.
NDTV spoke to Bhargav Sundaram, CEO, Callidai Motorworks, to learn about the additional features of the robot and how it can prove to be helpful in these tough times.
In these times, the one thing, which we are very sure is the way the virus spreads. It is a human-to-human transmission and that is where the robot comes in picture. It breaks this chain of the infection. We have made a prototype for Chennai Police, who are out there and risking their lives on a daily basis to fight coronavirus. The robot cop which we have made is basically an internet-based technology that features a speaker, camera and works as two-way communication between the police officers managing the specific area and the public. The device can easily cover one square kilometre area without an internet connection and where we have one, it can cover as much as the internet connectivity. The robot can be managed by a police officer via laptop or a mobile, they simply need software installed on their devices to man the robot. Currently, we have made this prototype and we have given it to the police for testing, depending on their feedback we will improvise this prototype further.
Talking about how else the robotic device can help fight the coronavirus, Mr Sundaram added,
These robots can also help disinfect an area if we add a sanitiser device to it. Furthermore, currently, Chennai Municipal Corporation delivers vegetables and groceries to COVID-19 people infected houses or people living in high-risk zone areas. To avoid this human-to-human connection also, we can use these robots. This robot is equipped to take 100 kilograms of weight.