Singapore is testing the use of a four-legged robot to keep people apart and reduce the need for staff to patrol park grounds during COVID-19
Spotted: In this new normal, where sharing a space with another person is dangerous, many sectors are using robots to carry out tasks such as cleaning surfaces, delivering goods and patrolling. Municipal authorities in Singapore are trialling the Boston Dynamics’ four-legged Spot robot, which broadcasts prerecorded messages to remind park-goers in the city’s Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park to keep a safe distance from one another. Signs have also been put up around the park, urging visitors not to disrupt the robot.
Singapore’s National Parks Board has reassured citizens that although Spot is fitted with cameras, no personal data will be collected and videos will not be used to identify individuals, used only to estimate the number of visitors in the park at any one given time. The robot is remote-controlled, but also has built-in sensors to stop collisions and is accompanied by a guide.
Spot is being trialled at Singapore’s Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park from 8th May to the 22nd May, and if this is a success, it could be deployed full-time during peak hours in the park. There is also potential to place the robot elsewhere in the city. Spot has also been undergoing trials in hospitals, to help with coronavirus treatments.