TOKYO — Robot staff debuted at a Tokyo hotel for mild coronavirus patients under a plan to free up beds at overburdened hospitals.
Pepper, a popular semi-humanoid talking robot, greeted Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike as she walked into a downtown hotel during Friday’s demonstration. Pepper, wearing a white surgical mask, also reminds patients to check their daily temperature and encourages them to rest.
Doctors and nurses are staffed at the hotels. Guest patients can also access health management applications on computers and tablets to record their body temperatures and symptoms. “Whiz” a cleaner robot, operates in hotel lobbies where patients come to pick up meals to reduce infection risks.
The robots, made by SoftBank Robotics, will be deployed at other hotels rented by Tokyo’s government for patients with no or mild symptoms. So far, Tokyo has secured five hotels with 1,500 to 2,800 rooms.
Japan has 14,281 confirmed cases and 432 deaths, according to the health ministry tally.