By Chris Jones/The Oshawa Express
The Ontario Regiment Museum is reopening to the public with the help of artificial intelligence.
The museum staff will be assisted by Master Corporal Lana, an AI virtual assistant built by CloudConstable Inc. Lana allows the museum to perform contactless check-ins, including temperature scans, and will adhere to visitor limits and other COVID-19 health protection protocols.
According to museum Operations Manager Dan Acre, guests will give their name for contact tracing when they enter the door, and will then notice a number of pylons with numbers on them before speaking to Lana.
“What we’re trying to do is have everyone move from one pylon to the next every 15 minutes [to maintain social distancing],” he explains.
There are 15 pylons placed around the museum, and they take visitors from the entrance all the way to the museum’s exit, while also showing off the museum’s fleet of tanks and other war related artefacts.
The museum is allowing 50 people in at a time per provincial guidelines, and has hand sanitization stations placed throughout.
Mike Pickering, president and CEO of CloudConstable, explains visitors will be asked a series of questions by Lana, including whether or not they have a fever, if they live with someone with COVID-19, have they been out of the country, and more.
Visitors will give Lana yes or no answers, and Acre adds nodding or shaking one’s head works as well.
As Pickering gave a demonstration of Lana’s role, he notes the individual answering questions will be tracked by Lana through a camera on top of the device, and the next person in line will be tracked as well.
He notes she won’t do a facial scan to recognize the visitor unless they are within two metres of the camera.
There is a thermal scanner as well, which allows Lana to check visitors’ face temperature to see if they have an elevated body temperature, Pickering notes.
He points out there is some leeway with the temperature monitor, as they are aware the summer heat can raise the body’s temperature.
“Right now, given the lower number of cases in Ontario, we wouldn’t want to unduly worry people about temperature,” he says. “So, we’re right now just really getting some data for a baseline, and then as the museum opens we’ll be testing if we can set a threshold in case there is somebody who has a temperature above that.”
Acre says another aspect of Lana which excites him is the AIs ability to essentially act as a concierge.
He explains Lana can tell visitors where the washrooms are, or can answer certain questions about making a donation.
“Basically this is an excellent system for us to determine whether someone is at risk for COVID,” says Acre.
To learn more about what the Ontario Regiment is doing to protect visitors during the COVID-19 pandemic, or to purchase a ticket, visit https://www.ontrmuseum.ca/tankmuseum/.