Will robots serve as handy assistants or take over?

I am not sold on techno-optimism or futurism. However, this one is an interesting development in Bangkok.

I will reserve my opinion for another day but the write up is worth your time.

The pertinent highlights:

  • On a balmy Bangkok afternoon in March 2020, Professor Djitt Laowattana was sitting in his second-floor office in the Institute of Field Robotics (FIBO), watching the news out of Italy
  • Photos of doctors with faces marked from their masks spread across social media as the country rapidly became the epicenter of Europe’s Covid-19 outbreak. “I told my staff, stop what you’re doing and focus on this,” Laowattana told Rest of World. “I wanted to make sure the same thing doesn’t happen in Thailand.”
  • According to recent estimates by the International Council of Nurses, nearly half a million healthcare workers may have been infected by the virus
  • Over the last 20 years, Laowattana has built nearly 300 types of robots for industries ranging from food processing to automobiles, half of which are still used today
  • In hopes of rapidly scaling the use of these robots, Laowattana added 5G connectivity, which will allow hospitals to add as many robots as they need without overloading their systems. “I don’t like the coronavirus,” said Laowattana, “but the pandemic is a fast-forward button.”

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