A Belgian company at the forefront of robotics


Over the last few days, a pharmacy in Péruwelz has been receiving help from an extraordinary assistant called Docky; it is a humanoid robot which welcomes customers, checks if they are wearing their mask and offers advice and guidance. This original experiment demonstrates Belgium's pre-eminence in humanoid robotics.

In fact, "Belgium is the country with the most humanoid robots in the health care sector in the world, ahead of Japan," according to one of the CEOs of Ostend-based robotics solutions company Zora Bots. Although the bodies are created by the SoftBank Group, a Japanese company, their "brain" was designed by Zora Bots, whose software brings most of the world's humanoid robots to life.

The company has developed several programmes. The most common of these programmes is named Zora and is a small 27cm humanoid. It is particularly popular in the field of health care (geriatrics, rehabilitation, paediatrics, Alzheimer's units, autism care, etc.); more than 200 hospitals and care centres in Europe, the United States, Japan and Australia have adopted it.

There is also Pepper the butler, which welcomes people to supermarkets. In particular, it has a sense of direction, understands what is expected of it and leads customers who asks for help to the exact place they want to go or finds the product they are looking for.

"It is there to facilitate, to add another experience, to support, to help with repetitive tasks," according to its designers.