Amid aerial drones and UV ray sanitising, Singapore has now deployed a new technology to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic, through an automatic surveillance dog called SPOT. SPOT has been deployed by the Singapore Government to patrol the Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park. SPOT is meant "to assist safe distancing efforts at parks, gardens and nature reserves" that the government owns, as per a press release.
In a pilot which will last two weeks, SPOT will patrol the Singapore park and will take on its vigil duties during non-peak hours. When someone comes near him, SPOT will play a recorded message requesting the park visitor to maintain social distance.
"Spot will be controlled remotely, reducing the manpower required for park patrols and minimizing physical contact among staff, volunteer safe distancing ambassadors and park visitors," the government notes in its release. "This lowers the risk of exposure to the virus."
SPOT can travel at speeds of around 1.6m/s and is weather-proof. He is also able to constantly measure its center of gravity so it can stand back up if it falls. Along with this, SPOT is strapped with cameras to estimate the number of visitors in Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park. The cameras can't track or recognize individuals in particular, the government says it only wishes to estimate the number of people in the park. SPOT will not only help the government to practice surveillance without the use of manpower but also spread awareness among the park goers to follow the social distancing norms amid the global pandemic.