Singapore Trials Patrol Robots to Deter Bad Social Behavior

Singapore has begun testing robots to patrol public areas and deter social misbehavior in its latest effort to further expand its strong portfolio of surveillance tools.

Ranked as one of the safest countries in the world, Singapore has put two autonomous robots to test to detect misbehavior, such as disregarding COVID-19 safety measures, smoking in prohibited areas and improper bicycle parking. Agency said in a statement on Sunday.

According to the agency, the two patrol robots, called Xavier, are equipped with cameras that can detect social misbehavior and trigger real-time alerts to the command and control center.

The test is taking place in an area with heavy pedestrian traffic in central Singapore.

The agency said that during the three-week trial, the robots would be used for surveillance and message display to educate the public about appropriate behavior. An agency spokesman said on Monday that the robots would not be used for law enforcement during the trial.

“The implementation of Xavier will support the work of civil servants, as it will reduce the labor required for foot patrols and will increase the operation’s efficiency,” the agency said.

Singapore’s Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam said in August that the city-state intended to have more than 200,000 police cameras by 2030, more than double the current number of cameras installed across the island state in Southeast Asia.

© Thomson Reuters 2021


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