By Simon Sharwood, APAC Editor 10 May 2020 at 07:58
Singapore is trialing robot dogs to enforce social distancing in its parks, to assist the national coronavirus-control effort.
As outlined by GovTech Singapore, the nation's digital advancement agency, the beast is a Boston Dynamics Spot device that's been programmed to roam a 3km stretch in the River Plains section of Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park during off-peak hours.
"A recorded message will be broadcast from SPOT to remind park visitors to observe safe distancing measures. SPOT will also be fitted with cameras – enabled with GovTech-developed video analytics – to estimate the number of visitors in parks," the agency says.
Govtech promises the cameras "will not be able to track and/or recognise specific individuals, and no personal data will be collected."
Spot's controlled remotely, which means Singaporean park staff don't need to go out into virus-exposed meatspace to do their jobs and also don't interact with those braving the open air.