Singapore has come up with a unique way to get citizens to adhere to social distancing regulations.
Reuters reported on Friday that authorities in Singapore are using a robot dog to enforce coronavirus guidelines. The remote-controlled, four-legged machine was built by Boston Dynamics and first deployed last week as part of a two-week trial.
"Let’s keep Singapore healthy," the yellow and black robot named SPOT said in English as it roamed around Singapore's central park. "For your own safety and for those around you, please stand at least one meter apart. Thank you."
If the trial proves to be effective, it is possible that more robodogs would be placed in Singapore's green spaces during the city-state's quarantine.
Singapore is home to 5.7 million people and has more than 21,000 reported coronavirus cases. This is one of the largest totals in Asia and it is believed to be linked to the spread of the illness among migrant workers. To combat this, Singapore has placed the country on lockdown until June 1. Under these rules, citizens can only leave their homes for essential travel while wearing a mask at all times. Exercise is also allowed, but it must be done alone.
SPOT warns people not to loiter and that "gatherings are not allowed." It also broadcasts messages to citizens explaining the importance of social distancing. Along with outside enforcement, SPOT is being trialed for hospital use, where it will deliver medicine to contagious patients.