Robot-dog encourages social distancing in Singapore Park

The Singaporean government deployed a four-legged robot from Boston Dynamics in a two-weeks trial to assist safe distancing and prevent gatherings in parks and nature reserves

People strolling through the River Plains section of Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park this week might stumble upon a yellow four-legged robot who’s programmed to remind them to keep a proper distance and avoid gatherings. The robot-dog is an attempt from the Singaporean government to patrol the city parks and nature reserves in an effective yet inconspicuous way to prevent the spread of Coronavirus. 

The dog is the latest version of the Boston Dynamics’ robotic quadruped. It’s equipped with a speaker to play a recorded message, proximity sensors, and cameras enabled with GovTech video analytics capable of estimating the number of visitors in parks. 

In a press release, the Singaporean Government stressed that SPOT won’t be able to recognize and track individuals, and that no personal data will be collected by the four-legged park ranger. 
“SPOT will be controlled remotely, reducing the manpower required for park patrols and minimizing physical contact among staff”, reads the press release announcing the deployment of the robot. “Unlike wheeled robots, SPOT works well across different terrains and can navigate obstacles effectively, making it ideal for operation in public parks and gardens.”

Boston Dynamics

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