Robot Dog Deployed In Singapore To “Encourage” Social Distancing

Anna Kroupina, Open Jaw

In a scene right out of Minority Report where the robot spiders track Tom Cruise, a robot dog is roaming a Singapore park to ensure social distancing compliance.

Spot, who is part yellow, part black, and all robot, is equipped with cameras that scan the surroundings and help authorities estimate the number of people gathering in parks. Spot is also able to broadcast a pre-recorded message to visitors to remind them of the importance of social distancing, authorities said.

"These cameras will not be able to track and/or recognize specific individuals, and no personal data will be collected," the government said in a statement.

That’s reassuring.

The pilot project is set to run in a limited trial for two weeks at one park during off-peak hours. But if all goes well, authorities say they will consider expanding the program.

For now, at least one park ranger will also be patrolling the area along with the robot, according to authorities. No word on whether the ranger is able to play fetch with the dog during quiet periods. 

The government says it is also using Spot in another capacity — at a local isolation facility where the robot helps bring medicine to patients.

Not long ago, Singapore was being applauded for its effective coronavirus response. Then the second wave hit, hard. Since 17MAR, Singapore's number of confirmed coronavirus cases shot up from 266 to over 5,900.

Anna Kroupina

Anna Kroupina Journalist

Anna is OJ's newest member and she joins the team as a writer/reporter. She co-writes the daily news and covers events. Although she's new to the industry, pursuing a career path in travel/tourism has been a goal since her first family road trip to the Florida Keys sparked a desire to discover the world and this exhilarating, fast-paced industry.

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