Tunisia Deploys Lockout Police Robots

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Thinking robot

In Tunisia’s capital, the Tunis government installed police robots. It will ensure the observation of the coronavirus lockdown. They call the robots P-Guards. The robots question people why they are out when they see someone walking through largely empty highways. 

The robot interrogates residents on the highways. The people have to display their IDs and other documents to the camera of the robot to be reviewed by police officers who operate it. This is the third week in which the nation is shut down due to the COVID-19 outbreak which has claimed the lives of more than 14 Tunis citizens.

Everyone must remain in their houses. The Tunis government permits people to go out only if it is for medical purposes or to buy necessities. The nation in North Africa has presently reported more than 435 COVID-19 cases, a respiratory illness.

Are Robots Effective?

The number of robots the Ministry of the Interior is using for the Tunisian surveillance network is not clear. Remotely operating robots utilize Lidar technology with a thermal imaging sensor. Enova Robotics, the manufacturer, says it is a confidential issue. He dismissed the price tag as well.  

The P-Guard is a four-wheeler with a thermal camera and Lidar technology, which functions like radar but uses illumination instead of radio waves. The Tunisia Interior Ministry posted footage on Facebook regarding its potential plan to enforce robots not long after the lockdown. Some accepted the change, whereas some said the robot “moved too slowly” to operate effectively.

However, many videos on social media display the robots preventing humans from moving aimlessly since then. A robot asks a guy in one video if he understands that a lockout is underway. The guy says he’s going to purchase cigarettes.

The robot replies: “OK, buy your tobacco, but be quick and go home.”

“Before coronavirus swept the world, Enova’s clients were largely private firms. The firm, which has its headquarters in the coastal city of Sousse, also produces ‘healthcare’ robots,” said the chief sales officer Radouhane Ben Farhat.

The robots will render a tentative visual evaluation and test other items with their sensors. They are soon going to operate at hospitals in Tunis. This will eliminate direct interaction with doctors and COVID-19 patients. During these extraordinary days, several policymakers utilized robots and artificial intelligence (AI). Among other coronaviral devices, China uses robots to disinfect and thermal camera-equipped drones.