Lebanese Programmer Created a Robot to Assist the Elderly in Quarantine

Kalam Horr | Reuters

Dr. Moussa Sweidan, a Lebanese technological instructor and programmer, is currently working on a satellite-controlled robot that can help and protect the self-quarantined elderly.

In February, Sweidan presented his project at the education conference and exhibition GESS Dubai 2020. However, the robot was not originally meant to work during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sweidan Robot – Kalam Horr

As reported by the NNA, the programmer said: “The initial idea was to integrate the robot in kindergarten, with the aim of attracting students to the robotics world and urging them to unleash their creativity in the field of technology, which helps them learn better.”

But after the pandemic struck, Moussa Sweidan decided to switch up his plans for the toddler-sized robot and use it to fill a pressing need during the current lockdown, while keeping its original functions intact.

He saw that elderly people under self-quarantine needed personal assistants, and so he programmed the robot to fill that role during the pandemic.

The robot can perform advanced tasks such as memorizing the members of the household, which allows it to identify possible intruders and, in case of an emergency, raise an alarm and/or contact the dependant’s family members.

The programmer, who has been teaching in some Lebanese universities, colleges, and schools for 10 years, said that he was working on additional features to be installed in the robot.

These include the ability to measure a person’s body temperature, even from a distance, and a special bag to carry everyday items, as well as “a special device for spraying sterilants.”

“The robot is available and anyone can get it,” according to Sweidan.

The features that are active in its current version, in addition to the aforementioned, include reading stories to pupils through its screen, giving lectures, identifying people using its integrated camera, reading distances, and making voice and video calls.

Users can also control it remotely through internet and satellite connections, regardless of where they are in the world.

Dr. Moussa Sweidan is striving to continue updating his invention until it can “stand in front of every home or door of every school.”

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