Tatarstan journalists close to losing their sight because of ‘innovative’ robot from Innopolis

Danger of perception

A presentation of investment projects for the supervisory board of Innopolis SEZ turned out to be a dangerous incident for health. Several journalists who were demonstrated a MedBot М-304 robot with UV lamps in the town of high technologies got an eye injury.

As one of the participants in the presentation told Realnoe Vremya, after the event, he woke up at night with an acute ache in his head and eyes — he had to call an ambulance. Journalists of several newspapers turned out to be among the victims, they all experienced similar symptoms and sought medical advice — they either called an ambulance or went to first aid establishments themselves.

They all were diagnosed with electric ophthalmia.

According to participants in the event, including Realnoe Vremya’s journalists, organisers warned of the harm of a long impact of ultraviolet radiation. Despite this, the robot wasn’t turned off during the whole presentation. So according to Realnoe Vremya, the incautious organisers themselves turned out to be among the victims.

We should note that the presentation of the robot and other high-tech products was held separately for journalists, the supervisory board wasn’t nearby at that moment. They were shown the device separately, and the robot was switched off, as Executive Director of Rofosoft PLC, which developed the robot, Regina Tsygankova said.

In a talk with Realnoe Vremya, Tsygankova said her organisation claimed responsibility.

“The robot operated for too long. We repeatedly said that one shouldn’t look at it for more than a minute but succumbed to requests to leave it for a picture. In other words, we violated occupational safety when working with the lamp. Now we are working with the full list of journalists we received, find out how they are feeling, how can we help them to compensate for costs on medicines,” she said.

After the article was published, the press service of Innopolis SEZ also commented on the incident — their position coincides with that of Robsoft.

“As Executive Director of Rofosoft PLC Regina Tsygankova says, a short presentation of a disinfecting robot with UV radiation on was planned, which didn’t pose a threat to health. Unfortunately, the demonstration of the robot to the mass media lasted longer than it should, which caused not severe eye injury in some journalists. The management of Robosoft admits its mistake and promises to take measures to avoid such a situation. Robosoft and Innopolis SEZ have contacted all journalists, they are feeling fine at the moment,” the press service of the SEZ claimed.

At this moment, the Tatarstan Union of Journalists is aware of eight victims from different mass media.

By Aleksandr Artemyev