Tunisians out on the streets during the COVID-19 shutdown in the country should be prepared to be questioned by police officers — the robotic kind. Four-wheeled autonomous robots patrol the city to help implement a 12-hour night curfew intended to curtail the spread of COVID-19, the virus-caused respiratory disease.
The Tunisian-based Enova Robotics PGuard robots come fitted with infrared and thermal imaging cameras and a sound and light alert system to make public announcements. Once the bots find suspected violators, they roll up and ask for Identification to be remotely checked by police officers, who can communicate with people through microphones and speakers in real-time.
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Another video posted to Twitter shows a PGuard asking a man if he knows a lockout is in effect. The man explains that he is out to buy cigarettes.
“OK buy your tobacco, but be quick and go home,” the robot replies.
The curfew in Tunisia came into effect on March 22, when Tunisians were forced to stay at home from 6 p.m to 6 a.m and leave for medication and other needs throughout the day. Curfew defiance will result in serious punishments. According to the German daily newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine, the police have already revoked more than 10,000 driver’s licenses from people who did not have appropriate permits, and cars could be seized,
As of 3rd April 2020, the North African state has almost 500 reported cases with a death toll of 18.