Singapore Uses Boston Dynamics’ Robodog for COVID-19 Patrols
The videos of Boston Dynamics’ amazing robots demonstrate how they run, jump, climb and respond to commands. As the coronavirus increases the prospects of using more robots, especially in healthcare situations, the company is finding its robodog in demand.
Spot the Dog—the robotic viral sensation known for opening doors, climbing steps with ease, and even taking clean dishes out of the dishwasher—not only landed a full-time gig as an inspector at an oil and gas company in Norway, but it’s also a watchdog in Singapore to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Spot The Dog’s new gig in Singapore is to help curb coronavirus infections in the city-state by reminding people to social distance. The remote-controlled, four-legged machine built by Boston Dynamics was deployed in a central park as part of a two-week trial that could see it join other robots policing Singapore’s green spaces during a nationwide lockdown.
“Let’s keep Singapore healthy,” the yellow and black robot dog said in English as it roamed around.
“For your own safety and for those around you, please stand at least one meter apart. Thank you,” it added, in a female voice.
Despite its friendly tone, Singapore has strict lockdown rules and imposes hefty fines and even jail.
Another robot, in the shape of a small car, has been deployed at a nearby reservoir to warn visitors “not to loiter” and to say, “gatherings are not allowed.”
The authorities behind the latest trial – the government technology and cybersecurity agencies – said in a statement that Spot could better cross rough terrain in parks and gardens.
Rest assured, if they wanted to, authorities could arm Spot on his watch, like low voltage zappers to make people move along. So far, though, his bark is worse than his bite.
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