Japanese robotics service provider, Mira Robotics, has reportedly announced the launch of its “ugo” robot with a view to support Japan’s aging workforce. According to the CEO, Ken Matsui, Mira Robotics intends to offer the robot as a tool in the fight against coronavirus pandemic.
As per sources, there has been an unprecedented population decline in Japan that is causing the country’s workforce to shrink by more than half a million a year. Japan has also been reluctant to bring in labor from abroad and this has been a stimulus for the development of robots in the country.
According to Ken Matsui, the COVID-19 pandemic has also fueled the need to develop robots as they can help to reduce direct contact between people. The company also has had enquiries from other countries including France and Singapore, added Matsui.
For the record, Mira Robotics has reportedly introduced a hand attachment feature in the remote-controlled ‘avatar’ robot which makes use of ultraviolet rays to kill viruses present on door handles. The company has stated that its “ugo” robot basically comprises a pair of height-adjusted robotic arms that have been mounted over wheels. The robot can be operated from a remote location via a wireless connection using a laptop and game controller. “Ugo” also has a range measuring laser installed on its base to enable navigation and a panel at its top displays eyes that accord it a friendlier semblance.
Matsui has further explained that it takes around 30 minutes for a user to understand how to use the robot with each operator having the ability to control as many as four machines. “Ugo” robot has been available for rent at $ 1000 a month and can be deployed to function as a security guard, for carrying out equipment inspections, and for cleaning toilets and other areas in office buildings.
As of today, Matsui’s Mira Robotics has one “ugo” robot functioning at an office building in Tokyo.