Health checking robots increasingly prevalent across preschools in China
As The Sector recently reported, government bodies are becoming increasingly aware of the need to ensure that early childhood education and care (ECEC) and environments are as healthy and as hygienic as possible, and are willing to use innovative means to ensure that is the case.
The opening of the flagship 1,065 license place centre in Singapore also included a pilot of a thermal scanner that will be positioned to assess the temperature of enrolled children as they enter the centre.
The Omnisense Systems scanner used in Singapore is designed to signal when temperatures exceed a certain level, through a hand held device that displays both thermal and visible light video images for quick identification.
Preschools in China,however, are going one step further in their campaign to maintain healthy preschool environments by employing free standing, fully automated, interactive robots to greet children as they enter their centre and to facilitate the health check.
The robots, known as Walklake, are now installed across 2,000 preschools in China with children between two and six years old using the system every morning.
The Walklake robot stands approximately one metre in height and contains a range of high tech detection tools which enable it to effectively identify a variety of ailments including but not limited to conjunctivitis, fevers, and hand, foot and mouth disease in approximately three seconds.
Walklake will then alert on site nurses as to who is well and who is unwell, aggregating the data quickly and effectively so as to prevent communicable disease outbreaks spreading too far.
Although it is unclear what processes are in place to support the children who are identified as unwell, and how the device manages children with long term or recurring illness, the use of Walklake is being hailed as a valuable tool for efficiently screening for illness in large preschool settings and in communities where such technologies are culturally accepted.
The Walklake Robots are priced at approximately $8,000 to $10,000 per unit.