Belgium's robots helping Europe combat the COVID-19 pandemic
Aden-Jay Wood

As humans continue to fight the COVID-19 pandemic across the world, robots have now joined the fray.

Belgian robot software company, Zorabots has programmed its robots to check people's temperatures as well as to check if someone's face mask is on properly. They can also speak 53 different languages.

The robots have been circulated in elderly care facilities across Belgium, where there were strict lockdown measures.

Tommy Deblieck, co-founder of Zorabots, said: "They were not allowed to go out anymore. They were not allowed to have visitors anymore. And we said, well, we still have a stock here. We still have those robots here. We have a software which works seamlessly with them, so why not give them for free?"

As well as the care facilities, the robots are being used in several hospitals nationwide, where they are being used as a first triage for arriving patients.

If you do not have your face mask on when you try to get your temperature checked, it will remind you. Once your face mask is on correctly it will then check your temperature using its thermal camera.

Zorabots now has clients from across Europe including the United Nations in London, England.


The robots have been used in Belgium's care homes and hospitals as well as across Europe. /CGTN

The robots have been used in Belgium's care homes and hospitals as well as across Europe. /CGTN


While many businesses have suffered during the COVID-19 pandemic but Zorabots' sales have soared 83 percent.

Deblieck said: "Now, because of the epidemic, things are happening in the world. They saw that a robot could really help. And it cannot get sick, it can provide information, can take fever, can see if you are wearing a mouth mask. It can count people. It can even disinfect rooms. So it could be really helpful. 

"And you can remotely control the robot, you can remotely see the robot. So there is a big shift that we see because of COVID-19 and even after COVID-19 that people see that, well, robots could be really helpful." He added.

The robots are manufactured in China and programmed in Belgium. But Deblieck said some parts have been difficult to get a hold of due to the restrictions on travel and non-essential goods, especially batteries.

The question is for Zorabots is, what is the use for its robots once the pandemic is over?

Cedric Devriendt, the chief technical officer, thinks there will always be a use for them: "There will still be the need for prevention. So we always have the robots in public spaces or big spaces where a lot of people enter. And the prevention based on the temperature will always be a need in the future. Even after COVID-19."

Video Editing: Pedro Duarte