In an effort to improve teaching, learning and safety in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, the University of Lagos, Unilag, on Monday took delivery of three robots for temperature and blood pressure checks and provision of other data.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the robots were donated by Platform Capital, a global investment firm.
At the inauguration of the robots at the institution’s library, the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, said that the robots would improve the institution’s delivery lines.
”We have been talking about Improving our delivery lines. These robots are certainly going to add value in that regard, in the sense that artificial intelligence would now be brought to bear.
”They are going to load it with the books we have in the library, also it will take the temperature of the people coming into the library.
” It will also give us the data of people coming to the library everyday, look at the peak time that they come in, and the peak hour, they leave.
”It is going to serve in so many ways. We have one that will be positioned at the Senate Building that will equally take temperature.
”If you want to check your blood pressure, it will assist you to do that. If you are looking for any body at that same Senate building, once you mention the name of such a person, it will tell you the number of the room where the person is.
”Another one will be deployed to our Unilag Business School. What we are looking at, is to make sure that we improve on our delivery lines,” he said.
Ogundipe said that at this critical period of global health challenge, the services of the robots would be a huge contribution toward safety.
”For instance, if one’s temperature is too high, it will raise an alarm concerning that, and with that development, the security personnel know that such a person needs to be attended to.
”It will reduce contact level with our security personnel and others around.
“We have other technologies to be put in place at this period.
”These upcoming technologies will check one’s blood pressure too as well as oxygen level.
He added that some of the technologies would detect metals.
”That is what our research teams are currently working on. We have done ventilator and are now working into the prototype, and some companies are already showing interest to manufacture it,” Ogundipe said.
In his remarks, Mr Akintoye Akindele, Chief Executive Officer, Platform Capital, said that the company was toeing a path the vice chancellor charted for the university.
According to him, the robots donated by the firm will enhance library experience.
”The vice chancellor is a visionary leader, who has great ideas for the institution, that would position not just the university, but the entire education system.
”What we have just done is to plug into his vision to support him to make that happen.
”The donation today is one of the five robots we want to offer to the University of Lagos.
”We want to know who is coming into the library and who is going out, what their temperature levels are and all that. Beyond that, anything about library will be seamless.
According to Akindele, the robots can even tell which students are using the library very well.
“We are also going to deploy one at the institution’s College of Medicine. This will help in client consultation and a lot of other things.
”Equally important is the Business School of the university. We are trying to make it the best in Africa, where we are bringing 30 African entrepreneurs to come and incubate.
”The whole idea is to position University of Lagos and support the vision that the vice chance has.
For us, it is about doing our widow’s mite. I do not think change is expensive. If we all contribute our small bits, things will certainly improve.
In her remarks, Dr Yetunde Zaid, the university’s Librarian, said that robotic technology was the trend in research.
According to her, the robot to be positioned at the library will enhance research and learning.
”This technology supplied to us, which will be nicknamed Scholar, will be deployed to the university’s library to begin to perform reference services, enhance book categorisation, assist users find books and also make the facility more user friendly.
”Currently our library is automated, all our resources are online. Anything you want can be accessible in the website.
Because of that, this technology will further make our resources more usable. It is a value added initiative.