The initial trial will last for two weeks
Municipal authorities in Singapore are deploying a robot to monitor and remind park occupants about social distancing. The trial, which will be conducted at the Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park, will use a four-legged spot robot from Boston Dynamics and will last for two weeks. If the trial is successful, these robots will be deployed in parks across Singapore.
It is not the first experiment of its kind, and airports and other public places around the world are making use of such robots. The most significant benefit of using a robot is that it lowers the risk of human exposure to the virus.
The National Parks Board (NParks) and the Smart Nation and Digital Government Group (comprising Smart Nation and Digital Government Office and Government Technology Agency) have teamed up to experiment.
“Spot is fitted with safety sensors to detect objects and people in its path,” as per a press release from the Singapore government. “It has in-built algorithms to detect an object or person within 1 meter of its proximity to avoid a collision. SPOT will be accompanied by at least one NParks officer during the trial period.”
It was also mentioned that the robots were primarily controlled via remote control. While they calculate the number of occupants in a location, it does not take any kind of personal data and does not identify people present.
Singapore currently has over 33,000 reported coronavirus cases with 23 deaths. More than half of those who tested positive have recovered from COVID-19.
Robotic technologies are being used around the globe for different purposes. The same robot spot has been used in the US at hospitals to deliver medication to the patients, as a trial. In China’s Hangzhou park, smart glasses with Ai capabilities are being trialed to locate potential COVID-19 patients.