Creepy 5ft tall ‘coronavirus-detecting’ robot is banned from New York park

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A robot whose creators claim it can detect the coronavirus has been banned from a New York park after disturbing locals. 

The bot was designed to ask people questions including ‘Have you had a fever in the last three days?’ 

The creation was let lose in Bryant Park, Manhattan where it was able to test out three passersby before being stopped by park security. 

The 5-foot robot was created by Pennsylvania-based company Promobot and was banned from the park after officers determined it lacked a permit.

The machine had been handing out protective masks at the city’s bustling Times Square a few days before. 

Founder of the company Oleg Kivorkutsev told the New York Post: ‘We were trying to tell people about the virus.

‘We’re bringing attention to the problem.’   

 While some have described the bot as ‘cute’, others see it as unnecessary ‘overkill’ as concerns over the spread of the coronavirus continue. 

Queens health specialist Igor A. told the publication: ‘It’s weird and it’s a little overkill.’

‘A stand with an iPad would have been enough. They do not need a whole robot.’ 

The number of confirmed cases of the virus in the United States stands at 12, with cases in Wisconsin, California, Arizona, Massachusetts, Washington and Illinois. 

So far there have been no confirmed cases in the state of New York, although a handful of people are being tested at New York City hospitals. 

The viral outbreak, which is believed to have originated in central China late last year, has now infected at least 31,000 people and caused 636 deaths, mostly within China.

Local governments across China have locked down cities of tens of millions of people in response to the crisis, while global panic has risen over the more than 240 cases that have emerged in two dozen countries.

 

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