A 5G K9 robot distributes hand sanitiser to a visitor at a shopping mall in Bangkok. (AFP photo)
A scurrying robot dog named K9 dispenses hand sanitizer to curious children and wary shoppers — one of the more unexpected measures Thai malls are taking as the kingdom relaxes virus restrictions.
The hi-tech hound is controlled using 5G, a technology promising super-fast internet speeds with immediate reaction times that is still in the initial stages of roll out in Thailand.
Mimicking an excited puppy, K9 roams around the popular Central World mall in downtown Bangkok, drawing the attention of delighted children eager to get gel from a bottle attached to its back.
"It's convenient for people to wash their hands, just like a preventive measure... especially in this Covid-19 situation," said Petra Saktidejbhanubandh, a marketing officer for mobile operator Advanced Info Services (AIS).
AIS is aiming to roll out a 5G network for smartphones by the end of the year.
K9's 5G-powered comrades include ROC, which checks temperatures, and LISA, a customer service-bot.