Video Duration 00 minutes 57 seconds
From: NewsFeed

Robot dog enforces physical distancing rules

Spot the robot dog is patrolling a Singapore park to enforce physical distancing as part of a coronavirus-related trial.

Spot, the robot dog, is equipped with cameras and sensors to help it estimate the number of visitors and reduce the number of park patrons amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“For your own safety and for those around you, please stand at least one metre apart. Thank you,” Spot says as it patrols Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park in Singapore as part of a two-week trial.

The government says its cameras will not be able to track specific individuals and no personal data will be collected.

Singapore, an island nation of approximately 5.7 million people, is grappling with one of the highest numbers of COVID-19 cases in Asia. It is also using a fleet of 30 drones to monitor crowd levels in public parks, which have remained open during a lockdown that began in early April.

Spot was developed by US-based Boston Dynamics and is currently remote-controlled with the goal of eventually achieving full autonomy.

It is one of the world’s most advanced commercial robots, last seen opening doors, hauling a truck or dancing to a Bruno Mars song in a slate of promotional videos.

Its two-week pilot in a park in Singapore is seen as a test of how machines and artificial intelligence could help reduce human contact in public spaces as some governments begin easing social restrictions.

The semiautonomous robot can walk up to 5km/h (3 mph) over uneven terrain, detect obstacles with 360-degree vision and get up after it falls.

When Spot became available for lease last September, its first applications included inspecting construction sites and utility installations, cluttered environments dangerous for humans. It also got a three-month trial as an “observation device” on the Massachusetts State Police bomb squad.

This report was produced and edited by Al Jazeera NewsFeed’s Seena Khalil.