Singapore is using robots to detect bad behavior among the public

midian182

Posts: 7,152   +63
Staff member
In a nutshell: Singapore has turned to robots in a bid to deter lawbreakers in the city-state. But before you have visions of Robocop marching around the streets declaring, "Come quietly, or there will be… trouble," know that these machines are less gun-wielding cyborg and more Wall-E.

Reuters reports that Singapore has started testing a couple of robots, called Xavier, on patrols in areas with high foot traffic.

Rather than being on hand to prevent violent crimes—Singapore is ranked as one of the safest countries in the world—they will be on the lookout for "undesirable social behaviors." These include flouting Covid-19 safety measures (such as "the congregation of more than five people"), smoking in prohibited areas, improper parking of bicycles, and illegal hawking.

The robots are equipped with 360-degree IR and low-light cameras that detect this antisocial behavior. If the AI system identifies any of the prohibited activities, the command and control center is alerted.

The robots are also fitted with an array of sensors that help them navigate the city autonomously, avoiding objects, pedestrians, and vehicles, hopefully. They will also be showing messages on their screens to educate the public on proper behavior, which will doubtlessly help endear them to the average person.

A spokesperson for Singapore's Home Team Science and Technology Agency said the robots would not be used for law enforcement during the trial. "The deployment of Xavier will support the work of public officers as it will reduce the manpower required for foot patrols and improve operation efficiency," the agency said.

Singapore plans to double its number of surveillance cameras to 200,000 by the time 2030 rolls around, not including those on the robots, presumably.

We've seen similar surveillance/security robots in the US, several of which have been attacked and pushed over. One of them even dove into a fountain—the pressures of the job becoming too much, perhaps.

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Hardware Geek

Posts: 390   +449
It's no different from regular cameras except that it moves.
Pretty much this. It does what cameras do, but it moves, most likely quite slowly, and far more expensively than a lot more cameras. Not that I'm promoting a surveillance state.
 

DrSuess

Posts: 140   +109
So sounds like I could wiz in a mall fountain and it the robot would pass me by, because the AI isn't looking for that type of behavior.
 

Nobina

Posts: 3,339   +3,425
Depends on if their other static cameras are setup to alert the authorities.
Sounds like this robot is setup to also snitch lol
Maybe throwing a rock at it when it's not looking at you can "fix the problem".
 

JamesBlond

Posts: 134   +81
Robots used to detect Anti-Socialist's Anti CCP … just incase you have a religion or don't like being a prisoner in a free world...