North Korea’s Anti-Epidemic Robot

A North Korean company has produced a robot for epidemic prevention.

The device is advertised in the latest Foreign Trade magazine and is essentially an Android tablet with attached sensors packaged into a semi-humanoid form. Foreign Trade is a monthly magazine that promotes North Korean companies and overseas trade partnerships.

“This autonomous mobile intelligent robot is equipped with body temperature measurement and ultraviolet disinfection functions. It can navigate in the public places to detect persons with fever and disinfect floors, walls and other environment,” reads the brief description in the magazine.

It can measure temperatures between 34 degrees Celsius to 41degrees Celsius with 0.3 degrees Celsius accuracy and disinfect 6.8 square meters per minute, according to the specifications.

An advertisement for a anti-epidemic robot in the January 2023 edition of Foreign Trade Magazine

It is unclear whether the robot has actually been used inside the country. State television has shown numerous reports about anti-epidemic work inside North Korea, but the robot has not been featured in any of the footage I have reviewed.

The company offering the robot, the Kanghung Technology Trading Co., has made almost annual appearances in Foreign Trade magazine since at least 2014, selling various electrical products.

In 2020, the company advertised a control system for automated factory production lines; in 2019, it advertised industrial robots. In 2018, it was a hand sterilizer, and in 2017 it appeared three times with computer numerical control (CNC) control units, laser shape meters and various digital measurement units. On one of those appearances, in January 2017, it used the English name “Kanghung Technical Trading Corp.”

An affiliate of 38 North