Robot Built for Japan’s Ageing Workforce Finds Coronavirus Role

Mira Robotics developed its”Ugo” robot to Fortify greying Japan’s shrinking workforce, but since the coronavirus threat Stays, the Western startup is Supplying Its Own machine as a tool in the fight against the outbreak, the Organization’s CEO said.

“The coronavirus has created a demand for robots because they can reduce direct contact between people,” Ken Matsui told Reuters in his company’s workshop in Kawasaki, near Tokyo. “We’ve had inquiries from overseas, such as from Singapore and France.”

The most recent feature of the remote-controlled or so-called avatar robot is a hand attachment which uses ultra-violet light to kill viruses on door handles.

An unprecedented population decrease that’s decreasing Japan’s workforce by over half a million people per year in addition to a reluctance to bring in foreign labor to fill vacant positions has spurred robot growth in Japan.

The emergence of coronavirus-related demand may further that function.

Mira Robotics’ Ugo is a pair of height-adjustable robotic arms mounted on wheels, managed remotely via a wireless connection with a notebook and game controller. A range-measuring laser mounted on the base helps it navigate, even though a panel in the top displays eyes to give it a friendlier look.

It takes around 30 minutes to understand how to use the robotwith each operator ready to control as many as four machines, said Matsui. Ugo which costs around $1,000 (roughly Rs 75,500) a month to rent, can be set up as a security guard, carry out gear inspections and wash toilets and other areas in office buildings, he added.

Matsui’s two-year old startup so far has only one ugo operating at an office building in Tokyo.

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