In a bid to keep all COVID-19 safety guidelines in place, a south Indian clothing store chain located in Tamil Nadu's Tiruchirappalli has deployed artificial intelligence (AI)-powered humanoid robots across their outlets to check the safety measures of visitors.
Named "Zafira", the female robot figure is blonde and dressed in a sari. As part of her duties, Zafira checks the temperature of customers visiting the stores and if they are wearing masks. The robot also dispenses sanitiser to customers while keeping track of the number of people entering the store at one time.
The aim is to keep the risks of spreading the coronavirus in check, now that some businesses across the country have sprung back into action.
Pictures of this special robot have made their way to Twitter in India. Have a look.
A blonde Robot in Tiruchirappalli, Tamil Nadu. Just sit back and think about it for a minute. A White Blonde Robot ZAFIRA in TN. I mean, seriously?— Vet (@Amit76385988) August 26, 2020
While some people are thrilled about this COVID-19-preventing robot, some are just worried that these kinds of instances could be the early stages of a future robot uprising.
This Robotic world is the Beginning of end of the earth 🌎 Congrats Humans Each day You're destroying Manpower & getting dependent on machines where will the jobs go what will Labours do Crime will getting increased if we don't make a plan on this ;— Chauhan Indian (@indian7199917) August 26, 2020
A saare clad robot and name is *Zafira* ... Excellent! https://t.co/XDlJ2cTm7E— Vikas Sharma (@neogerot) August 27, 2020
Some people also pointed out that the "fair skin" of the robot is "offensive" because residents of the south Indian region are usually brown-skinned.
Why zafra is white not Tamilian colour?— Brij Singh (@brijmgmt01) August 27, 2020
India’s obsession with Gori Skin. Even machines are not left behind 😄😄😄 https://t.co/lF3Czniega— Reload Politics (@ReloadPolitics) August 26, 2020