Spot the Robot Now Used in Singapore to Implement Social Distancing in Parks
In these trying times where social distancing is key, authorities are getting creative on how to apply these measures. One such way is through the use of robots.
Robots, as you may know, don't risk getting contaminated or contaminating and are, therefore, a safe tool in this era. In Singapore, municipal authorities are using Boston Dynamics’ four-legged Spot to keep park-goers at safe distances from each other.
Starting Friday, a Spot unit will roam the city’s Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park broadcasting prerecorded messages reminding people about social distancing. This process is set to undergo a two-week trial.
The robot is not meant to violate visitors' privacy even though it is equipped with cameras. Singapore’s National Parks Board has said those cameras are only used to estimate the park's number of visitors.
Spot is, however, remotely controlled and features built-in sensors to stop collisions. The robot will also have a guide. The main point of the robot is to reduce the need for staff to patrol the park since they are actually susceptible to infection.
Interestingly enough, authorities have put up signs throughout the park, asking people not to disturb the robots.
Just received the most Singaporean pandemic content from a mate based in the little red dot pic.twitter.com/vqgnQ5F4D9— Soon-Tzu Speechley 孫子 (@speechleyish) May 8, 2020
The pandemic is, without a doubt, giving robot makers everywhere new ways to deploy their machines. There are trials underway of robots being used in hospitals, and even of them being used to delivering groceries. In many ways, Spot's walk through the park is just the beginning.
A new Brazilian study seems to suggest it does, so we asked scientists for their thoughts.