A four-legged robot will be patrolling Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park (in Singapore) to remind people of safe distancing measures starting from Friday (May 8, 2020). Called Spot, the robot will assist with safe distancing efforts at parks, gardens and nature reserves managed by National Parks Board (NParks) and at parks managed by town councils.
The Spot robot will broadcast a recorded message reminding park visitors to observe safe distancing measures. It is fitted with cameras, enabled by GovTech-developed video analytics, to help it estimate the number of visitors in the parks. The cameras, however, will not be able to track or recognise specific individuals, neither will it collect any personal data.
What seems like an episode from Black Mirror. Governments are warming up the masses to drones, robot dogs, and in the near future, humanoid robots to “protect and serve.” While “Spot” here might not be too much of a threat now, the day when real, autonomous surveillance functionality on bots like these is enabled isn’t far off once 5G is fully rolled out.
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