Tuesday, June 18, 2024

In Singapore, a Spot robot reminds park visitor to respect distancing measures

In the midst of the health emergency caused by the Coronavirus, governments are managing to keep the population indoors. But those who have to leave the quarantine, it is necessary that they follow the recommendations: keep a distance of more than a meter, use face masks and constantly wash your hands.

Singapore government has executed a particular idea to give residents a friendly reminder in the most incredible way. Instead of putting up posters and bulletins on benches and poles in the city’s Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park, officials deployed the Boston Dynamics robot, named Spot, onto the street. The robot, as a part of the two-week trial, plays a prerecorded message that reminds everyone to observe safe distancing measures and avoid gathering in crowds.

This robotic patroller is fitted with cameras, which allow the National Parks Board (Nparks) of the city-state to estimate the number of visitors to the park. According to the officials, it will not collect any personal data or use the video to identify individuals. Spot is operated remotely and, it will use its advanced safety sensor capabilities to avoid obstacles.

Using a robot to patrol has the advantage of not exposing manpower required for park patrols to the virus. If this two-week trial will be successful, NParks plans to deploy the robot full-time during peak hours.

It is not the first time that such technological means have been used to remind the public of social distancing measures. Drones and robots have been deployed in China and the United States to achieve similar objectives in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

The contagious nature of the pandemic opens up new possibilities for robot manufacturers to deploy their creations. They can also be deployed to clean surfaces and deliver goods without any fear. Besides patrolling, the Spot robot is also working as a mobile telemedicine platform, allowing healthcare providers to remotely triage patients in this pandemic time.