Japanese Robot Tells Shoppers To Wear A Mask

by : Daniel Richardson on :
Japanese Robot Tells Shoppers To Wear A MaskNHK

Social distancing measures have proved difficult for some people to follow. Fortunately, a Japanese robot is now helping customers socially distance and reminding them to wear face masks. 

Robovie was developed by the Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute International in Kyoto, to help Japan battle a possible third wave of the coronavirus pandemic. The robot was trialled in the shop for football club Cerezo Osaka, and it has managed to showcase some innovative technology that could have wider use.


The robot has been designed to help shoppers keep a safe distance while perusing, and it is hoped that shoppers will feel less embarrassed if they are asked by a robot rather than a member of staff.

robot social distancingNHK

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To monitor the shop, Robovie is preloaded with the layout of the store. From this point, Robovie uses a camera and sensors to check whether masks are being worn and the right distance is being kept between customers. On top of that, the robot can also guide customers around the shop, which will avoid confusion about one way systems.

It is worth noting that Japan has not had major issues with mask and distancing measures. Equally, the country has managed to avoid a significant number of deaths that have been experienced in Europe and the US. With that in mind, the month-long trial of the machine may be best suited to a region with a greater issue with distancing measures. Nonetheless, this technology looks like an innovative way to ensure safe shopping trips.


Whether Robovie could handle a UK shop when toilet paper becomes worth its weight in gold remains to be seen, but this technology does look like it could be helpful in many countries as the pandemic continues.

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Daniel Richardson

After graduating from university, Dan went on to work with a variety of tech startups and media outlets. Through working with the likes of Game Rant, The Hook and What Culture, Dan pursued his interests in technology. The skills he picked up along the way are now being utilised with UNILAD.

Topics: Technology, face mask, Japan, Mask, Now, Robot, Robotics, Tech


  1. Telegraph

    Osaka trials social-distancing robot to replace staff during pandemic