Saudi Arabia reveals robot programmed to quench thirsts of pilgrims

The robot hygienically distributes Zamzam water to pilgrims

  
A general view picture shows the Kaaba as Muslim pilgrims keep social distance while performing their final Tawaf, marking the end of Haj pilgrimage amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, in the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia August 2, 2020. Picture taken August 2, 2020. Sultan Al-Masoudi/Handout via REUTERS. Image used for illustrative purpose

A general view picture shows the Kaaba as Muslim pilgrims keep social distance while performing their final Tawaf, marking the end of Haj pilgrimage amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, in the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia August 2, 2020. Picture taken August 2, 2020. Sultan Al-Masoudi/Handout via REUTERS. Image used for illustrative purpose

 
RIYADH: Pilgrims visiting the Grand Mosque in Makkah will no longer have to queue to quench their thirst thanks to a new robot handing out Zamzam water.


The machine was put on show on Sunday and set to work zipping around the mosque, allowing staff to grab a bottle of water as it passed by.

President of the General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques Abdulrahman Al-Sudais said it was important to use advanced technology to maintain the safety of pilgrims especially during the times of the pandemic.

The robot is designed to reduce the chance of contamination.

Pilgrims and staff at the mosques can simply grab a bottle of water as the robot passes by without the need to queue or share a bottle with someone else.

“The smart robot distributes Zamzam water through hygienic means that avoids touching,” Al-Sudais said.

Since the start of the pandemic, Saudi Arabia has introduced a series of measures to reduce the chances of spreading COVID-19 among pilgrims and worshippers at the Grand Mosque and the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah.

This year’s Hajj pilgrimage, which before the pandemic attracted about 2.5 million pilgrims, has been restricted to 60,000 people.

Like last year, pilgrims are restricted to Saudi citizens and residents with none allowed to travel from overseas to take part.

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