Boston Dynamics’ Spot, a Four-legged Robot is Patrolling Singapore Parks to Encourage People Maintain Social Distancing
Since the first announcement of the successful use of Spot, Boston Dynamics’ quadrupedal robot, in a hospital, the robot dog is now seen patrolling the parks of Singapore. In the fight against COVID19, the robot politely asks joggers and cyclists to stay apart and maintain social distancing.
The remote-controlled, four-legged robot built by Boston Dynamics was first deployed in a central park on Friday as part of a two-week trial. Patrolling the parks, the yellow and black robo-dog broadcasted, “Let’s keep Singapore healthy. For your own safety and for those around you, please stand at least one meter apart. Thank you!“, in a softly-spoken female voice. The recorded message encouraged people to maintain social distancing. Not just speakers, the Boston Dynamics’ Spot carries cameras on board too. These cameras are used to monitor gatherings. However, the government insists that they won’t be using face tracking or collected personal data. Spot is controlled remotely by the Singapore authorities to avoid proximity but there will be atleast one officer accompanying the robot.
“SPOT is fitted with safety sensors to detect objects and people in its path.“, said the officials in a release. “It has in-built algorithms to detect an object or person within 1 meter of its proximity to avoid collision. SPOT will be accompanied by at least one NParks officer during the trial period.”, added the report further.
To counter the global pandemic, more fascinating efforts are coming from the tech world. Robotics and automation is gaining more interest.
How Long Will Singapore Have SPOT Support Onboard?
Spot is currently under trial and patrolling Singapore parks during off-peak hours. Authorities say, if the trial proves successful, they will consider deploying Spot during morning and evening peak hours. “Should the trial prove successful, NParks will consider deploying SPOT at Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park during the morning and evening peak hours,” said the officials in the release. Spot is also being trialled at a community isolation facility to deliver essential items, such as medicines to patients. The Smart Nation and Digital Government Group (SNDGG) of Singapore is also planning the use of Spot to support other COVID-19 related operations.
On a larger note, Spot is currently being looked as a great tool for automation and harnessing technology for public use in these times of the pandemic. From awareness to the delivery of essential items such as medicines, Singapore authorities are planning to make use of the robot in every possible way to lower the risk of exposure to the virus.
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