Roaming ‘robodog’ politely tells Singapore park goers to keep apart

1 / 5
A four-legged robot dog called SPOT patrols a park as it undergoes testing to be deployed as a safe distancing ambassador, following the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Singapore May 8, 2020. (Reuters/Edgar Su)
2 / 5
A four-legged robot dog called SPOT patrols a park as it undergoes testing to be deployed as a safe distancing ambassador, following the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Singapore May 8, 2020. (Reuters/Edgar Su)
3 / 5
A man jogs behind a four-legged robot called Spot, which broadcasts a recorded message reminding people to observe safe distancing as a preventive measure against the spread of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus, during its two-week trial at the Bishan-Ang Moh Kio Park in Singapore on May 8, 2020. (AFP/Roslan Rahman)
4 / 5
A woman jogs past a four-legged robot called Spot, which broadcasts a recorded message reminding people to observe safe distancing as a preventive measure against the spread of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus, during its two-week trial at the Bishan-Ang Moh Kio Park in Singapore on May 8, 2020. (AFP/Roslan Rahman)
5 / 5
A four-legged robot called Spot, which broadcasts a recorded message reminding people to observe safe distancing as a preventive measure against the spread of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus, is seen during its two-week trial at the Bishan-Ang Moh Kio Park in Singapore on May 8, 2020. (AFP/Roslan Rahman)
Short Url
Updated 08 May 2020

Roaming ‘robodog’ politely tells Singapore park goers to keep apart

  • “Let’s keep Singapore healthy,” the yellow and black robodog named SPOT said in English as it roamed around
  • Despite the niceties, breaches of Singapore’s strict lockdown rules can result in hefty fines and even jail

SINGAPORE: Far from barking its orders, a robot dog enlisted by Singapore authorities to help curb coronavirus infections in the city-state politely asks joggers and cyclists to stay apart.
The remote-controlled, four-legged machine built by Boston Dynamics was first deployed in a central park on Friday 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 robodog named SPOT 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 softly-spoken female voice.
Despite the niceties, breaches of Singapore’s strict lockdown rules can result in hefty fines and even jail.
The city-state of 5.7 million people has more than 21,000 cases, one of the highest tallies in Asia, largely due to mass infections among migrant workers living in cramped dormitories in areas little visited by tourists.
Under rules to enforce the lockdown in place until June 1, residents can only leave their homes for essential trips like grocery shopping and must wear a mask at all times in public. Exercise outdoors is permissible but must be done alone.
Another robot, in the shape of a small car, has been deployed at a nearby reservoir to warn visitors “not to loiter” and that “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.
As well as broadcasting messages reminding visitors of social distancing measures, SPOT is fitted with cameras and analytics tools to estimate the number of people in the park.
Authorities said the cameras would not be able to track individuals or record personal data.
SPOT has also recently been trialled for use at a temporary hospital delivering medicines to patients.

Related


‘Tiger King’ star loses animal park to nemesis he tried to kill

Updated 02 June 2020

‘Tiger King’ star loses animal park to nemesis he tried to kill

  • Joe Exotic’s feud with Baskin captivated millions in a Netflix documentary that became a sensation during the early stages of the lockdown
  • A judge in Oklahoma ruled that the ownership of Exotic’s 16-acre land in the state must be transferred to Baskin after a protracted legal wrangle

NEW YORK: The star of hit Netflix series “Tiger King” will have to hand over the ownership of his famous zoo to the nemesis he tried to have murdered, a court has ruled.
Joe Exotic, whose real name is Joseph Maldonado-Passage, is in jail after he was sentenced to 22 years in prison in January for the attempted murder of Carole Baskin.
His feud with Baskin, an animal sanctuary owner, captivated millions in the Netflix documentary that became a sensation when it was released in March as America went into coronavirus lockdown.
Baskin had for years accused Exotic of abusing the animals, including tigers, in his park.
Exotic said Baskin was trying to destroy his business, and their dispute ended up in a years-long legal battle.
On Monday, a judge in Oklahoma ruled that the ownership of Exotic’s 16-acre land in the state must be transferred to Baskin, who runs Big Cat Rescue in Florida.
The Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park will have to vacate the premises, “including removal of all zoo animals,” Judge Scott Palk said in the decision.
In 2013, a Florida court ordered Exotic to pay Baskin $1 million because his company had used logos and images similar to those of Big Cat Rescue.
Exotic tried to get off from paying by shielding his assets, leading to this second lawsuit, with the judge ruling in Baskin’s favor.
“Tiger King,” a seven-part documentary, was one of Netflix’s most-watched shows.
The platform announced in late April that in one month, 64 million subscribers had seen all or part of the series.
Exotic, 57, has requested a pardon from President Donald Trump.