Robot made out of trash helps COVID-19 patients in Indonesian village

Category: Health


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. household / ˈhaʊsˌhoʊld / (adj.) – relating to a home

    We had to buy a lot of new household items like pots and pans because the moving company lost some of our stuff.

  2. disinfectant / ˌdɪs ɪnˈfɛk tənt / (n.) – something used to clean something else by destroying or significantly reducing the amount of bacteria, viruses, etc. on it

    When the Covid-19 pandemic first started, it was really hard to find disinfectants in stores.

  3. self-isolate / sɛlf ˈaɪ səˌleɪt / (v.) – to keep oneself away from others

    It can be hard to self-isolate when you live in a small apartment with other people.

  4. devastating / ˈdɛv əˌsteɪ tɪŋ / (adj.) – causing great injury or damage

    The devastating flood put most of the town underwater.

  5. sweep through (somewhere) / swip θru / (idiom) – to move or pass through a place quickly

    The dust storm swept through the town, causing multiple accidents.


Read the text below.

Meet “Delta Robot.” It’s built out of household items like pots, pans and an old television monitor. And it’s bringing a smile to COVID-19 patients in a village in Indonesia.

The homemade robot was put together by scientists and villagers in Tembok Gede. It has a rice cooker for a head, and is operated by remote control.

“With this new delta variant and the surging number of COVID-19 cases, I decided to turn the robot into one used for public services such as to spray disinfectant, deliver food and meet the needs of residents who are self-isolating,” said Aseyanto, 53, a neighborhood leader who heads the project.

Tembok Gede is in Surabaya, Indonesia’s second-biggest city. Over the past weeks, a devastating wave of virus infections has swept through the city.

More than 108,000 of Indonesia’s 270 million people have died from the virus. (Reuters)

This article was provided by The Japan Times Alpha.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • “Delta Robot” is being used to meet the needs of residents who are self-isolating. What do you think their needs are (ex. fresh food, money if they can’t work from home)? In your opinion, what can be done to better meet these needs? Why? Discuss.
  • Scientists and villagers built the robot out of pots, pans, an old TV monitor, and a rice cooker. If you built your own robot out of household items, what would you use to build it? Why? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • “Delta Robot” is bringing a smile to COVID-19 patients in a village in Indonesia. If a robot made out of household items came to help you, how would you feel (ex. amused, a bit scared)? Why? Discuss.
  • Do you think robots could ever fully replace humans when caring for sick people? Why or why not? Discuss.