Cairo: Saudi authorities have commissioned into service a robot to boost the sterilisation system at the Grand Mosque in the holy city of Mecca.
The General Presidency for Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques in Mecca and Medina said the robot operates for four hours a day on an area of more than 1,000 square metres per hour. The smart device, which weighs 300 kilograms, does jobs of washing and disinfecting floors without human intervention.
To avoid crashing into people or ground obstacles, the machine is fitted with cameras and sensors.
The energy-saving robot is characteristically quiet, emitting no noise that could disturb worshippers and pilgrims at the holy mosque.
Last year, robots were introduced into the site to distribute bottles of the holy Zamzam water to worshippers to avoid human contacts as part of precautions against the spread of COVID-19..
Saudi authorities have recently ramped up sterilisation efforts at the Grand Mosque as the kingdom has experienced a spike in COVID-19 infections.
An estimated 34,000 litres of disinfectants are sprayed daily across the sacred site to protect health of worshippers.
Last month, Saudi Arabia said that wearing face masks and social distancing were reimposed in outdoor and indoor places amid an increase in COVID-19 infections.
Authorities have also reintroduced distancing in the two holy mosques after it was cancelled in October.