Singapore deploys robotic ‘canine’ to encourage social distancing

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The four-legged robotic “canine” will patrol the world beginning this weekend and broadcast a pre-recorded message to guests to remind them of the significance of social distancing, authorities mentioned.

The machine may also be geared up with cameras that can scan the environment and assist officers estimate the variety of individuals gathering in parks, they mentioned.

“These cameras will be unable to trace and/or acknowledge particular people, and no private knowledge shall be collected,” the federal government mentioned in a statement.
The brand new measure is an experiment to enhance enforcement of social distancing all through Singapore because it contends with an alarming recent spike in cases.

The pilot undertaking is at present set to run in a restricted trial for 2 weeks at one park throughout off-peak hours. But when all goes properly, authorities will contemplate increasing this system.

Not way back, Singapore was being hailed as one of many international locations that had gotten its coronavirus response proper.

Then the second wave hit. Clusters that authorities testing appeared to have missed rapidly grew and the variety of day by day instances shot up. Since March 17, Singapore’s variety of confirmed coronavirus instances grew from 266 to 21,707 instances, based on data from Johns Hopkins University.

Because the state of affairs worsens, the federal government has more and more adopted expertise in its response.

In March, it launched a nationwide contact-tracing app that makes use of Bluetooth to assist customers discover out if they’d shut contact with somebody confirmed to have been contaminated.

The federal government says it is also utilizing Spot in one other capability — at a neighborhood isolation facility the place the robotic helps convey medication to sufferers.

Spot, the four-legged robot
Spot, which went viral in a sequence of on-line movies a number of years in the past displaying that it might run uphill, mount stairs and even get you a drink, is usually used for inspections on development websites or comparable conditions, based on Boston Dynamics.
It additionally has been deployed for public security causes, resembling serving to “examine hazardous packages from afar,” the corporate states on its website.

Singapore’s authorities mentioned Friday that it had picked the mannequin for its agility. “Not like wheeled robots, Spot works properly throughout totally different terrains and may navigate obstacles successfully, making it preferrred for operation in public parks and gardens,” it famous.

For now, a minimum of one park ranger shall be patrolling the world together with the robotic, based on authorities.

— CNN’s James Griffiths contributed to this report.

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