A textile shop in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu has a new high-tech staff member; Zafira the robot mannequin, dressed in a traditional saree, strolls around the Chennai Silks shop with a tablet and hand sanitiser, giving advice on social distancing and other COVID-19 prevention tips, as seen in footage from Tuesday.
«Usually people have an idea and they have an image that the robots will look like Enthiran (Indian Robot Character) or a Transformers,» said Zafi Robot Chief Executive Officer Aashik Rahman. «Even if the technology improves, we should not put a gap between our tradition and technology. So we ensured the robot should wear a saree.»
He added, «The response in the people is so far good, they are looking at her as a beautiful girl and providing all the information to protect them from COVID.»
With nearly 3 million confirmed cases of coronavirus, India is the third hardest-hit country in the world, behind the United States and Brazil. Over 55,000 people have died with the disease in the country.