Updated: March 17, 2020 10:24:38 pm
The residents of various slums in Vadodara, on Tuesday morning, rather than listening to a novel coronavirus (Covid-19) awareness message on their phones via a caller tune, were greeted by a robot on their doorsteps which educated them about the virus that has claimed three lives in India so far.
Developed by a group of four students from the Faculty of Technology and Engineering (FTE), the robot — equipped with a pre-recorded awareness audio message by the government — wandered through the lanes of the slums in Parshuram Bhatta, Kamnath Mahadev and Kamatibaug area of the city on Tuesday, playing the message throughout. The students also took the opportunity to spread awareness by personally interacting with the slum residents. Owing to its unique approach, the robot was able to attract significant crowds, especially children.
Mahil Dudhat (20), Dharmesh Gurjar, (20), Yogesh Jadav (21) and Afzal Sufiya (21) from the electronics branch of FTE had developed the robot in December last year as a part of their final year technical project. They used to it to spread awareness about COVID-19 as a part of their innovation fulfilling social innovation parameters.
“Earlier, we had used the robot for the purpose of advertising but with COVID-19, we thought of putting our innovation to use. We chose slum areas because we thought there could be lack of awareness and rightly so; not many knew of the preventive measures and how it spread, but were aware of the virus,” said Sufiya.
“The robot is battery operated and it is a limitation for us. If not everyday, we plan to use it every two or three days for the same purpose in different localities if needed,” Dudhat added.
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