Singapore has begun experimenting with robots to patrol public spaces and deter bad social behaviour, in its latest effort to further enhance its robust surveillance toolkit.
Singapore has been ranked as one of the safest countries in the world, and Singapore has put two autonomous robots on trial to detect bad behavior such as violating COVID-19 safety measures, smoking in restricted areas, and improper bicycle parking, Home Team Science and Technology Agency in Singapore said in a statement on Sunday.
The patrol robot, called Xavier, is equipped with cameras that can detect poor social behavior and send real-time alerts to the command and control centre, she said.
The trial takes place in a high-traffic area of central Singapore.
During the three-week trial, the agency said, the robots will be used to monitor and display messages to educate the public about proper behavior. A spokesperson for the agency said Monday that the robots would not be used for law enforcement during the trial.
“The deployment of Xavier will support the work of public officers because it will reduce the manpower required for foot patrols and improve the efficiency of the operation,” the agency said.
Singapore’s Minister of Home Affairs, K. Shanmugam, said in August that the city-state aims to have more than 200,000 police cameras by 2030, more than double the current number of cameras deployed across the Southeast Asian island nation.