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Singapore is testing robots to warn park visitors about social distancing

The yellow-black robot from Boston Dynamics

The yellow-black robot from Boston Dynamics

REUTERS / Edgar Su

  • To curb the spread of the corona virus, Singapore has been experimenting with a robot from Boston Dynamics for two weeks since May 8.
  • The robot reminds park visitors of the necessary measures and politely asks them to keep their distance.
  • Cameras attached to the robots and drones are used to estimate the number of visitors in the green areas, so that residents can avoid crowded areas in advance.

In sunshine and warm temperatures, many fall
particularly difficult to adhere to the initial corona restrictions. But also
when parks and green spaces in cities make a popular change from your own four
Walls, it is important to distance yourself from other people during the pandemic
hold.

This is a particular challenge for city-states like Singapore. Of the 5.7 million people who live here, 21,000 are affected by COVID-19, according to the Reuters news agency. Singapore has one of the highest number of cases in Asia.

The four-legged robot SPOT

To further limit the spread of the coronavirus,
Singapore is experimenting with a robot that will attract visitors to the popular
Reminds the city parks of the necessary measures and politely asks them
Keep your distance.

As the park administration of the Singapore National Parks Board (NParks) explains, the four-legged robot named SPOT from the US company Boston Dynamics has been tested in Bishan Park for two weeks since May 8. The purpose of remote control is to reduce the need for personnel and physical contact between people in order to protect employees from the virus.

With its four legs, SPOT can easily walk around the park.

With its four legs, SPOT can easily walk around the park.

REUTERS / Edgar Su

With its four legs, SPOT is reminiscent of a dog walking in the
Park walks around. But instead of playing or barking at passers-by, SPOT shines
a recorded message.

A gentle female voice says, “Let Singapore be healthy
Let’s keep Singapore healthy, ”says Reuters. Further adds the
Record added: “Please keep for your own safety and for that
People around you at least a meter away. Thanks “(” For your own safety and for those
around you, please stand at least one meter apart. Thank you,”).

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To find your way around the parks easily, SPOT is
equipped with several cameras. However, the authorities emphasize that it is with
these cameras will not be able to track people or personal
Record information.

Its four legs allow the dog-like robot to
to move in different terrain and to overcome obstacles.

SPOT can also collide with real dogs or
Avoid park visitors. This is ensured by safety sensors and built-in
Algorithms with which the robot objects and people within a radius
Can recognize meters.

Video analysis to estimate visitor numbers

The cameras attached to SPOT also offer the possibility of estimating the number of park visitors by means of video analysis.

A similar technique is used in other parts of the city-state using 30 drones. With the help of these video recordings, the number of visitors in the parks can be recorded. People who want to go for a walk or do sports can check in advance which park is most suitable.

As Reuters reports, the use of sympathetic
Robots like SPOT do not hide the seriousness of the situation because of a violation
against the corona measures in Singapore too high money and even
Prison terms.

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