Dog-like robot patrolling Singapore park

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A four-legged robot is being used to promote social distancing in a park in Singapore.

Designed by Boston Dynamics, Spot is currently patrolling around two miles of Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park, which is operated by Singapore’s National Parks Board (NParks).

The dog-like robot is equipped with cameras to estimate the number of park goers as well as broadcast recorded messages to encourage social distancing.

The cameras, which are enabled with video analytics developed by the Government Technology Agency of Singapore, are reportedly unable to track and/or recognise specific individuals, and no personal data is being collected.

The pilot programme started on May 8th and will run for two weeks during off-peak hours.

Spot is fitted with safety sensors and uses in-built algorithms to detect objects and people within 1m of its proximity to avoid collision.

Spot broadcasts a recorded message reminding people to observe safe distancing as a preventive measure against the spread of Covid-19, during its two-week trial at Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park

Though controlled by a remote operator, the robot is being accompanied by at least one NParks officer during the trial period.

Should the trial prove successful, NParks said it will consider deploying Spot at Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park during the morning and evening peak hours.

It will also study plans to deploy Spot to other parks, gardens and nature reserves across the sovereign city-state.

Spot is also currently being trialled at the Changi Exhibition Centre community isolation facility to deliver essential items such as medicine to patients.

The Singaporean government said it will also explore the use of Spot to support other Covid-19 related operations across agencies.

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