Last year when the coronavirus pandemic rocked the world, Singapore decided to try out new and novel ways of ensuring people stayed home as much as possible and weren’t gathering in crowds at public spaces like the park. To do this, they turned to the use of Boston Dynamics’ robot dog, Spot.
While Singapore seems to have largely gotten the pandemic under control, it doesn’t mean that they are ready to let their guard down. In fact, it seems that Singapore will be doubling down on its use of robotics by deploying two robots as part of a trial to help protect public health as well as to deter poor social behavior.
The robots, called Xavier, come equipped with cameras that can apparently detect “bad social behavior” and trigger an alert that will notify a command and control center. The trial will take place in areas with high foot traffic. During the trial period, the robots will simply be used for surveillance and to educate the public on proper behavior, and will not be used for law enforcement.
According to Singapore’s Home Team Science and Technology Agency, “The deployment of Xavier will support the work of public officers as it will reduce the manpower required for foot patrols and improve operation efficiency.”