A video has surfaced of a futuristic “robot dog” making its way across a park in Singapore that has got people all over the world talking. Released by The Strait Times, the footage shows the yellow machine marching past a group of people before heading down a pathway as surprised members of the public look on and snap photos.
Created by Boston Dynamics, the headless, four-legged robot dog will be roaming Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park for a trial period to remind members of the public to adhere to social distancing. According to The Strait Times, the pilot trial is jointly conducted by NParks, and the Smart Nation and Digital Government Group (SNDGG).
Called Spot, the robot dog has the ability to broadcast a recorded message that encourages people to stay within a safe distance from each other. Described by Boston Dynamics as a robot that “goes where wheeled robots cannot, while carrying payloads with endurance far beyond aerial drones. With 360° vision and obstacle avoidance, the robot can be driven remotely or taught routes and actions to perform autonomous missions.” The robot is also fitted with cameras that can estimate the numbers of visitors in the parks to make choices on whether an announcement should be made.
Following a two-week trial where the robot dog will possibly patrol a three-kilometre section of the River Plains area of the park during off-peak times, a decision will be made on whether to implement the machine on a longer term basis.
A robot has also been present at Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital in an effort to minimise spread of COVID19.