A robot dog has been monitoring behavior in a park by trotting and telling people from a social distance, while critics called it “ dystopian. ”
SPOT by Boston Dynamics is being used by the Singapore authorities as part of a two-week trial where it could be rolled out in city-state parks.
In a video, it roams around joggers and cyclists, saying in English, “Let’s keep Singapore healthy.”
“For your own safety and for the people around you, stand at least a meter apart. Thanks, ”he added.
Breaking Singapore’s ultra-strict lockdown rules can result in hefty fines and even jail time.
The city-state with 5.7 million inhabitants has more than 21,000 cases, one of the highest numbers in Asia.
Under the rules to enforce the closure until June 1, residents are only allowed to leave their home for essential outings such as grocery shopping and must wear masks in public at all times.
Training outdoors is allowed, but must be done alone.
A second car-shaped robot has been deployed at a nearby reservoir to warn visitors to ‘not get stuck’ and remind them that ‘gatherings are not allowed’.
The authorities behind the latest trial – government technology and cybersecurity agencies – said in a statement that SPOT was able to cross the park’s rugged terrain.
SPOT is equipped with cameras and analysis tools to estimate the number of people in the park.
The cameras may not be able to track individuals or record personal information, authorities said.
But viewers of the weird images seemed dubious about SPOT’s merits, and some called it “dystopian.”
One person wrote on Twitter, describing the bot as “one of the creepiest and most dystopian things I’ve seen since the pandemic started.”
A second person asked, “Um, does anyone think this is going a bit far? Robots now watching our distance? For a virus that kills less than 1%? What is happening??”
One person tweeted, “Go get them. Make them your human slaves for the coming robot kingdom! ‘