The Straits Times reports that robot dogs will be patrolling Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park in Singapore to remind citizens of social distancing measures. The robots, will reportedly be patrolling gardens and nature reserves managed by the National Parks Board and at parks managed by Singapore town councils.
Coronavirus in Singapore — A four-legged robot called Spot will be patrolling at parks, gardens, and nature reserves to remind people of safe distancing measures, starting at Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park from May 8
Via @STcom pic.twitter.com/tFE6fdKwVr
— Alfons López Tena (@alfonslopeztena) May 8, 2020
Spot is part of a two-week trial to determine whether officials should permanently deploy the robot for policing measures. The robot will be deployed over a two-mile stretch in the River Plains section of the Bishan-Ang Mo Kio park during off-peak hours and will be accompanied by at least one NParks officer.
The canine robot will be broadcasting a recorded message to park visitors reminding them to observe safe social distancing measures.
“Let’s keep Singapore healthy,” Spot says in English. “For your own safety and for those around you, please stand at least one meter apart. Thank you.”
The robot is equipped with cameras to help it estimate the number of visitors in the parks, however, officials assure that they cannot track or recognize specific individuals or collect personal data.
The robot was originally developed by the American firm Boston Dynamics and is capable of navigating obstacles more effectively compared to wheeled robots. Parks officials in Singapore have also deployed 30 drones to count how many people are visiting parks, and a larger four-wheeled robot shaped like a small car has been deployed at a reservoir.
Singapore has strict lockdown measures in place until June 1, including a stay-at-home order excluding essential trips and individual outdoor exercise.