A robot has signed on as the newest staff member at a store in Japan, taking on the job of ensuring customers wear masks and practice social distancing to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
Robovie, developed by Kyoto-based Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute International (ATR), guides customers around the sales floor at the official store of football team Cerezo Osaka.
It warns customers when it detects through a camera and 3D laser beam technology that they are not wearing masks or abiding by social distancing rules.
Robovie's deployment is a trial that started last week and will run at least through the end of the month. It will be extended according to the situation, ATR said.
With around 120,000 reported coronavirus cases and close to 2,000 deaths, Japan has weathered the pandemic better than many nations, and people are mostly compliant with requests to wear masks.
But authorities are calling for vigilance after a resurgence in cases as the weather gets colder and people spend more time indoors.
More from Quirky
Toy cars get eco makeover to inspire children
Matchbox is launching a new series of toy cars based on real-life electric and hybrid vehicles, in a bid to make its miniatures more sustainable and to raise awareness of the environmental impact of motoring.
Listen to the music of a spider's web. Tell me what do you hear?
It is an eerie, foreboding, reverberating tune, enough to send a tingle down your spine.
Run out of milk? Robots on call for Singapore home deliveries
Hoping to capitalise on a surge in demand for home deliveries, a Singapore technology company has deployed a pair of robots to bring residents their groceries in one part of the city state.
Dog steals reporter's mike, viewers' hearts on live TV
A Russian reporter had a 'ruff' time on live TV when a dog grabbed her microphone and took off, starting a chase that stunned newscasters and melted viewers' hearts.
A gift of chocolate from Queen Victoria, intact after 121 years
A 121-year-old chocolate bar, from a batch commissioned by Queen Victoria for British troops fighting in South Africa, has been found in its original tin in the attic of an English manor.