As some Wall Street banks have summoned traders and other employees back to offices, their ability to enforce social distancing measures will be challenging unless human-like mask-detecting robots are deployed.
Pepper, designed by SoftBank Robotics, is the world's first social humanoid robot able to recognize faces and basic human emotions. The robot stands 120 cm (47 inches) uses optical sensors and artificial intelligence to recognize if people are wearing masks.
Pepper features voice interaction to warn people if they're not wearing a mask, telling them: "You always have to wear a mask properly."
The robot then identifies someone responding to the request to put on their mask - it then says: "Thank you for having put on your mask."
The idea of having a humanoid robot patrolling office buildings, or maybe trading floors, or research departments, searching for mask violates makes a whole lot more sense compared to employing humans, which are more costly to do the same job. Plus, why have a low-level employee, looking over traders shoulders as sensitive data could be on trading terminals.
Pepper can even alert management of repeated non-mask offenders. Here's the robot in action:
With JPMorgan and other Wall Street banks requesting employees to return back to the office, where some of these folks spent the summer partying in the Hamptons without masks, it's going to be difficult to enforce mask-wearing, unless policing robots are deployed.