Robot in Turin pharmacy.
Photo by Stefano Guidi/Getty Images
  • A pharmacy in Turin implemented thermo scanning robots to check customers for safe temperatures and mask-wearing.
  • Italy was one of the hardest-hit countries by the coronavirus, and was the epicenter of the infection for most of March.
  • Now, Italy is easing lockdown restrictions and entering Phase 2 of its strategy.
  • These measures could provide a look at what reopening might look like elsewhere in the world.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

As Italy slowly starts to reopen from its strict lockdown, the country is using robots to facilitate the opening.

After recording its lowest death toll since the beginning of the lockdown on March 10, Italy entered Phase 2 of its lockdown. Daily new cases peaked on March 21 with 6,550. Now, lockdown measures are easing, and Italians are allowed to move about slightly more freely.

Under Phase 2, they are allowed to travel within the same region and visit relatives without showing special documentation, exercise outside, hold funerals with 15 or fewer attendees, and reopen bike and scooter shops to alleviate demand on public transportation.

Schools, movie theatres, and nonessential shops will remain closed for now, but an additional 4.5 million people have returned to work, mostly in the manufacturing industry.

Shops that are open, like pharmacies and grocery stores, need to avoid becoming sources of new infection if Italy remains on track to open bars and restaurants in June. One pharmacy in Turin is using thermo scanners and robots to keep people with Covid-19 out of the store.

See how it works.

A thermo scanner robot and tablet are used to screen anyone entering the pharmacy.

Photo by Stefano Guidi/Getty Images

Customers can't enter the pharmacy until they've been deemed safe. The store has other preventative measures in place, like social distancing and one-way aisles.

Photo by Stefano Guidi/Getty Images

Grocery stores in the US have adopted similar social distances measures.

Photo by Stefano Guidi/Getty Images

Customers are also required to wear masks at all times.

Photo by Stefano Guidi/Getty Images

The robot's facial reader can "see" if someone is wearing a mask.

Photo by Stefano Guidi/Getty Images

This man is not wearing the mask, and receives a warning from the robot.

Photo by Stefano Guidi/Getty Images

Meanwhile, a person wearing a mask is allowed in.

Photo by Stefano Guidi/Getty Images

To find a temperature, customers must hold their faces close to the scanner.

Photo by Stefano Guidi/Getty Images

Customers are instructed to move into the outline on the tablet to be properly scanned.

Photo by Stefano Guidi/Getty Images

A green banner appears if the person's temperature is determined to be safe, with a red banner if the temperature is too high.

Photo by Stefano Guidi/Getty Images

The scanners solve some problems associated with another no-contact method of taking temperatures, temperature guns.

Photo by Stefano Guidi/Getty Images

Source: Business Insider

The guns are frequently inaccurate because they must be held at a specific distance, while the tablet scanner here instructs people to move to the proper setting.


Non-contact thermometers can give accurate readings, and they don't have much risk of infection because people aren't constantly handling them, according to the National Institute for Health Research.

Photo by Stefano Guidi/Getty Images

Source: NIHR


Even the most accurate thermometers aren't a perfect measure to stop the virus, though. Infected people can go up to 14 days without showing symptoms, and some people never develop symptoms.

Photo by Stefano Guidi/Getty Images

Source: Business Insider


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