The company Mira Robotics, who developed the Ugo robot, has found a new application for it. Initially, robots were designed to cope with the shortage of labor caused by the rapid aging of the Japanese population. A new area of application for Ugo’s efforts is assistance in the fight against coronavirus.
“Coronavirus created the need for robots because they can reduce direct contact between people,” the company said. “We have already received requests from abroad, including from Singapore and France.”
The Ugo mobile robot is equipped with two manipulators that can be controlled remotely using a wireless connection, a laptop and a game controller. A laser rangefinder allows the robot to navigate in space, and an image of the eyes is displayed on the screen at the top to make Ugo more friendly. The new version of the robot is supplemented with an ultraviolet source in one of the manipulators that disinfects door handles.
Robot training takes about 30 minutes. One operator can control four cars. The robot can play the role of a security guard, check equipment, clean toilets and perform other functions in offices. Renting a Ugo costs about $ 1,000 a month.
An unprecedented reduction in the workforce in Japan, exceeding half a million people a year, as well as the unwillingness to attract foreign labor to fill vacant posts stimulated the development of robots in Japan.