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Pepper the robot can now detect if you're wearing a mask

Source: Softbank

As the whole world faces an unprecedented health crisis, SoftBank Robotics wants to help fight against the spread of the coronavirus.

Since July 20, anyone 11+ years of age must wear a mask in closed public places in France. In many European countries a fine can be given in those situations.
To support businesses and public places, SoftBank Robotics Europe is today unveiling a brand-new free feature for its humanoid robot, Pepper: mask detection.

An efficient deep learning solution with no personal data recording

Thanks to its cameras, Pepper can now scan faces of a group of people (up to 5 simultaneously) in order to check if they are wearing a mask. During the interaction, Pepper displays a green or red circle around the face on its tablet depending on whether the person is wearing a mask or not.

The AI algorithm is based on OpenCV image recognition and Single Shot Detector (SSD) and achieves a high score even on masks with complex patterns.
Pepper can also use its emotional and vocal functions to deliver a positive message to people, such as at the entrance of a store or in an airport, depending on customer needs and developed by SoftBank Robotics Europe partners.
There is no retention and use of personal data.

This new feature, currently being integrated by SoftBank Robotics Europe certified partners in their solutions, can be effective for social distancing by allowing mask wearing control in public places.

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