Africa Defense Forum
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Tunisian ‘Robocop’ Enforces COVID-19 Lockdown

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AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Tunisia’s Interior Ministry deployed a police robot to patrol the streets of the capital and enforce a lockdown imposed in March 2020 to help the country battle the spread of COVID-19.

Known as PGuard, the “robocop” is remotely operated and equipped with infrared and thermal imaging cameras, in addition to a sound and light alarm system.

The robot’s Tunisian creator, Anis Sahbani, said the machine first was produced in 2015 to carry out security patrols. It also operates autonomously through artificial intelligence.

The robot, built by Sahbani’s Enova Robotics company, costs from $100,000 to $140,000 and has been selling mostly overseas to companies for security uses.

Several of the robots have been donated to the Interior Ministry.

The robocop deployed in Tunis has been a hit on social media with users posting footage of the machine in action in several parts of the capital.

It can be heard voicing recorded messages calling on citizens to “respect the law … and stay at home to limit the spread [of the virus] and safeguard human lives.”

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