Robots warn of bad behavior in Singapore


In the city-state of Singapore, bad behavior in public is to be further reduced. Two robots named “Xavier”, which are equipped with cameras, are supposed to help. You should be able to recognize “bad social behavior” such as smoking outside of smoking areas, wrong parking and violations of COVID-19 rules and warn against violations, as Home Teams Science and Technology Agency (HTX) writes in a statement on Sunday.

The three-week test phase of the two robots, which have already started their work in the center of Singapore around the Toa Payoh Central area, has been running since Sunday, writes HTX. The four-wheeled robots are equipped with cameras to capture the space around them 360 degrees. The robots use other sensors such as lidar to recognize their surroundings and to be able to move safely through pedestrians and other traffic.

The videos captured by the cameras are streamed in real time to an analysis system that evaluates the moving images using artificial intelligence (AI) developed by HTX. The system should be able to detect smoking in non-designated zones, illegal street trading, incorrectly parked bicycles, motorized mobility aids and motorcycles as well as violations of corona requirements such as the dense gathering of several people.

If the violation is detected, it is reported to a monitoring center. An employee working there can then warn of the offense himself or by means of pre-prepared voice messages via the robot, the robot in any case notifies the perpetrators of the respective wrongdoing via a display. According to HTX, no legal consequences should initially take place.

In the future, the two robots will relieve patrol officers on their tours and surveillance tasks and reduce personnel costs. Singapore belongs according to the advice service The Economy Intelligence Unit one of the safest countries in the world and is ranked third behind Copenhagen and Toronto on the “Safe Cities Index 2021”. However, this also has its price: Singapore has an extensive and dense network of public surveillance cameras. By 2030, the number of these cameras is to be more than doubled and grow to 200,000, as the Interior Minister of Singapore, Kasiviswanathan Shanmugam, announced in August, according to Reuters.


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