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The hi-tech hound is remote-controlled and can clamber easily over all types of terrain Photo: AFP/File
tech

Robot dog on virus park patrol in Singapore

12 Comments
By Roslan RAHMAN

A yellow robot dog called Spot which found fame online for dancing to hit song "Uptown Funk" has been deployed to patrol a Singapore park and ensure people observe social distancing.

The hi-tech hound is remote-controlled and can clamber easily over all types of terrain, which its creators say means it can go where wheeled robots cannot.

As it trots through the park, Spot -- who has the same name as the popular fictional puppy -- uses cameras to estimate the number of visitors.

And the robot blasts out a message to ensure joggers and walkers keep their distance to limit the spread of the coronavirus: "For your own safety and for those around you, please stand at least one metre apart. Thank you."

Spot, which is being trialed over a three-kilometer stretch of the park, also has sensors to ensure it does not bump into people.

Developed by U.S. company Boston Dynamics, Spot is best known for a video where the robot showed off its moves by bopping to Mark Ronson hit "Uptown Funk" -- and which has been viewed over 6.8 million times on YouTube.

On a recent outing, curious onlookers stopped to watch Spot as the four-legged invention passed by and snap pictures on their phones.

Gu Feng Min, a visitor from China out for a walk, said the robot was "cute" and useful as a way to "determine how crowded the place is".

Others had misgivings, however.

"I think it's really going to be chilling in a way -- something is looking around and I'm not sure how it's going to react to me when I go near it," local resident Simon Neo told AFP.

Singapore authorities have played down privacy concerns, saying Spot's cameras cannot track or recognise specific individuals and no personal data will be collected.

The city-state has reported over 29,000 virus cases, mostly among migrant workers living in dormitories, and 22 deaths.

© 2020 AFP

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

12 Comments
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Oh great, a Terminator robot walking around making sure people don't talk to each other.

Just what society needs.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

This looks awful, but I bet Japanese people would be fine with robot overlords as long as they were cute

8 ( +8 / -0 )

I would love to subject the selfish ignorant joggers in my local Tokyo park to something much more menacing - like Robocop. "You have 20 seconds to comply."

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Getting barked at by a robot dog jobsworth. The future looks bleak indeed.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Giving it a head would be nice.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

RoboRover seems to be anatomically incorrect in a few ways.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Developed by U.S. company Boston Dynamics, 

You might wanted to add since this is JapanToday, Softbank own Boston Dynamics.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Its head looks just like a person.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The off switch is that orange button on its back.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

WOW!!!!!COMING FROM SUCH a small island. GREAT. Even japan do not have this robot. Singapore sell to japan. Singapore, softbank is owned by koreans , maybe that is why Japanese do not have this dog because some poor minded japanese cannot accept that a global minded company invented this dog.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Reminds of that episode of Black Mirror.

Cute? A headless dog, cute?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

maybe that is why Japanese do not have this dog because some poor minded japanese cannot accept that a global minded company invented this dog.

Or maybe they don't have it, because no one has it, and this is a trial of a brand new thing that no one has. Which is why no one would have it.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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