Robot customs officers debut in south China ports

Ten robots are on duty as customs officers at three ports

Ten intelligent robots have started to work as customs officers at three ports in the cities of Zhuhai and Zhongshan, southern China’s Guangdong Province.

They are the first batch of intelligent robots, to be used by Chinese customs at the ports of Gongbei, Hengqin and Zhongshan.

The robots, called Sanbots, are from Chinese company Qihan have 3D vision and are able to listen, speak, learn, see and walk.

They have numerous sensors for collision avoidance, seven microphones and touch sensors for interaction with humans.

Sanbot uses a Microsoft Kinect-style movement tracking system and high definition camera, with a number of LEDs for facial features and an HD projector in its head.

It also has a touchscreen tablet computer embedded in its chest along with speakers and a subwoofer.

Based on a specialised customs database, the robots can answer questions in 28 languages and dialects, including Cantonese, Mandarin, English and Japanese.

There are some particular problems they cannot solve, and customs officials said they will link the robots to their customer service hotline in the future.

With face recognition technology, the robots can detect suspicious people and raise an alarm, according to Zhao Min, director of Gongbei customs.

The Gongbei Port is an immigration and customs checkpoint located in Zhuhai in mainland China, on its border with Macau.

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