A robotic dog maintains social distancing in a trial in a park in Singapore. The robot called SPOT warns visitors to observe social distancing measures.
The 2-week trial in Singapore’s Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park is a collaboration between Singapore’s National Parks Board (NParks) and GovTech. A sign in the park tells visitors about the presence of SPOT and how the robot will be moving autonomously through the park to help ensure safe distancing.
Sensors, Cameras and Message
SPOT, the four-legged robot dog, made by Boston Dynamics, uses sensors to prevent any collisions with objects or people. Controlled remotely there is also person on-hand to help if there are any unforeseen issues.
The robot who is fitted with cameras estimates the number of visitors to the park. In addition, the robotic dog maintains social distancing as it moves around the park broadcasting a pre-recorded message. Interestingly, cameras on the robot are not used to identify individuals or collect personal data.
In Singapore people are used to a wide variety of laws that govern behaviour in public spaces. On-the-spot fines are common for littering, smoking in some public places, and chewing gum. Also, not flushing the (public) toilet could see a fine.
Used in Hospital
Robot delivery services are already a common sight in many hospitals. For instance, the robotic dog, SPOT, is being used at Brigham And Women’s Hospital of Harvard University. There it assists with the remote triage of patients suspected of having COVID-19.
In countries like China, the US, Spain and Israel drones have been used to give social distancing and dispersal instructions to outdoor groups of people. Jerusalem saw drones outside apartment building windows and balconies. They checked that people who had been ordered to self-isolate were doing so.
For drone and robot companies demand has increased during the pandemic. The flexibility, manoeuvrability, and safety provided by these devices has proven to have real value. Whilst human movement is restricted commercial drones and robots allow the continuation of some services. The ability to monitor property and premises, and to deliver food and other important items has been critical.
What Does This Mean For Your Business?
Automation is becoming important because it offers savings in cost and time. Plus there is an added-value element for many businesses and organisations. Furthermore, the success of robots and drones during the pandemic has highlighted other benefits they offer. This may boost the market further and make many businesses and organisations see new opportunities for robots and drones.