Kenya’s Jomo Kenyatta Airport deploys Covid-19-fighting robots

17 February 2021 (Last Updated February 17th, 2021 12:46)

Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Kenya has deployed three Chinese-built robots to help reduce the spread of coronavirus in the airport.

Kenya’s Jomo Kenyatta Airport deploys Covid-19-fighting robots
Donated by Japan and the United Nations Development Programme, the robots monitor arrivals for signs of the virus and disinfect the premises of the airport. Credit: Artur Tumasjan / Unsplash.

Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Kenya has deployed three Chinese-built robots to help reduce the spread of coronavirus in the airport.

The three glossy white robots, named Jasiri, Shujaa and Tumaini, arrived in Kenya just over two weeks ago, reported Reuters.

Donated by Japan and the United Nations Development Programme, the robots monitor arrivals for signs of the virus and disinfect the premises of the airport.

Jasiri, which means ‘brave’ in Swahili, sprays fine jets of sanitiser from containers attached to its sides.

With a camera mounted on an extendable neck, this robot captures infrared pictures while scanning hundreds of travellers in a minute.

It takes and records the temperatures of passengers and, in clear English, instructs people not wearing masks and standing close to each other to maintain pandemic protocols.

These robots also save passengers time on formalities in connection with their arrival.

Airport operations manager Simon-Peter Njoroge was quoted by Reuters as saying: “Jasiri’s role in this airport is to enhance the safety of international travel. This is one more example of how the future is going to look. The future is going towards contactless travel, it’s going towards automation, it’s going towards a greater focus on health security. I see that as a powerful force for the enhancement of air travel.”

The robots are aimed at helping to control the spread of an epidemic that, in Kenya, has killed almost 1,800 and infected more than 100,000.

ICT and health personnel working in the areas where the robots are deployed have received specialised training.