SINGAPORE, May 8 (Reuters) – 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…. see more