CBS pursues to become a model high-tech centre

Five imported robot vacuum cleaners to mop and clean the floors were launched and demonstrated on April 1

Five calm black discs proceed to systematically crisscross the floor, sweeping and mopping the floors, while avoiding table legs and cables as they go on with their task.

This is one of the five imported robot vacuum cleaners to mop and clean the floors that was launched and demonstrated by Zhichenkhar, Centre for Bhutan and Gross National Happiness Studies (CBS), on April 1.

With the push of a button or even remotely with the touch on the phone, the robot vacuum starts up. If there are spots of danger like stairs, a magnetic strip can be laid so they do not take a tumble. After over an hour and a half of cleaning, they just calmly make their way back to the charging station, and relax there to recharge, ready for the next clean. However, human touch is still needed to empty the dustbins, fill the mop water, and supervise their work.

According to the CBS, each robot costs less than two months of a sweeperโ€™s time.

The new building of CBS with the long-time caretakers is now supplemented by these five robot vacuum assistants.

The President of the CBS, Karma Ura said, โ€œThe cleaning robots are an early stage in the making of a model high-tech centre for research and profundity โ€“ more innovations are soon to follow.โ€

Their gracious Majesties have always provided a vision for change, and one of His Majestyโ€™s priorities has been ensuring that Bhutanese enter the new technologies, according to the CBS press release.

Apart from robots as one of the many advanced technologies in CBS, the office also uses biometric thumb system by the employees to enter the building.

Moreover, to reduce the time of processing library items, the CBS uses KOHA, an open-source library automation software. The software provides easy access to information for library staff and users with effective search functions, and issuing. Additionally, the softwareโ€™s automated alerts system reminds patrons and staff of over dues items or arrival of new items.

Sooner, the CBS plans for the visitors to access fuller explanations online in their language with the QR codes about the artwork, poems and quotes that visitors encounter as they come up a staircase or turn a corner.

The Library of Mind Body and Sound will also use a barcode scanner to maintain its collection, with the support of Royal Monetary Authorityโ€™s Information and Communication Technology.

Additionally, the website for conference bookings may be handled by an Artificial Intelligence (AI) powered virtual assistant.

The CBSโ€™s role in animating the understanding and adoption of AI across the many sectors of the government would organise series of public talks on how Bhutan can avail these technologies, according to the CBS.

โ€œThe upcoming seminar series will explore the practical uses of AI technologies with lectures available in person and online on Bhutanโ€™s future use of drones to monitor forests, plant trees, and identify hotspots, computer vision and deep learning that will help to prevent the extinction of rare species, or improve soil treatments for higher yield and remote health clinics use AI and digital communication to diagnose rural dwellers,โ€ states the press release.

Additionally, the seminar would explore AI support cattle breeding and milk production, or read vehicle details, replacing a human being in the road, tapping vehicle registration plates into phones, brain technologies that would help beginning meditators to track progress in mind-calming, and post-pandemic wave of tourists be greeted by a Kira-wearing ChatBot who can answer their questions.

Thukten Zangpo from Thimphu