Cairo: Women’s prayer areas inside the Grand Mosque, Islam’s holiest site, in the Saudi city of Mecca will be equipped with robots as part of efforts to give the faithful access to advanced technology, local media reported.
Chief of the General Presidency for Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques, Abdulrahman Al Sudais, has given directives to introduce a number of guidance robots into female prayer places in the mosques to enable the worshippers to perform rites smoothly, Saudi news portal Ajel said.
The smart machines offer several guidance services to the faithful including getting access to fatwas or religious edicts provided by scholars.
“They played a successful role during the Hajj season,” Al Sudais was quoted as saying.
Robots were employed in the past Hajj pilgrimage season, which ended earlier this month in Saudi Arabia, for accessing fatwas and giving away the holy Zamzam water. They are used to boost sterilisation efforts.
Nearly 900,000 pilgrims mostly from outside Saudi Arabia performed this year’s Hajj, after the kingdom relaxed curbs against the COVID-19 pandemic that had prompted authorities there to limit the rites to domestic pilgrims for two years.