The visitors of Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park in Singapore came across an unusual sight on Friday as SPOT, a Robodog, swiftly ran up to catch with joggers and cyclists and “politely” told them to maintain atleast one metre social distance to curb the spread of COVID-19. Earlier on trial to deliver medicines to patients at a temporary hospital, the remote-controlled, four-legged machine is now deployed in the central park as part of a two-week trial. Also Read - COVID-19 Crisis: ECB Delays Start of Domestic Season Till August But Windies Series in July Likely to go Ahead

Built by Boston Dynamics, the Robodog ensures enforcement of the nationwide lockdown and has been set on trail to see if it could join other robots policing Singapore’s green spaces. The black and yellow cop Robodog has been deployed along a 3km stretch in the River Plains section of the park during off-peak hours for the pilot trial conducted by NParks and the Smart Nation and Digital Government Group. Also Read - English Premier League 2019-20 to Restart From June 17 After Three-Month Break Due to Coronavirus Pandemic: Report

It has a softly-spoken female voice in which it says, “Let’s keep Singapore healthy. For your own safety and for those around you, please stand at least one metre apart. Thank you.” Having megaphones attached to it, the Robodog is patrolling parks in Singapore, detecting density and assessing if people are properly distancing.

to warn visitors “not to loiter” and that “gatherings are not allowed”, another robot in the shape of a small car has been deployed at a nearby reservoir. On the other hand, with a very Black Mirror feel to it, SPOT is fitted with cameras and analytics tools to estimate the number of people in the park apart from broadcasting messages that reminds visitors of social distancing measures. Though it could better cross rough terrain in parks and gardens, SPOT would not be able to track individuals as the government technology authorities and cyber security agencies said that the cameras cannot record personal data.

On another note, repatriation of Indian nationals from Singapore started from Friday when the first of the nearly 20 special flights evacuated 240 Indians from the city-state who are stranded amidst the international travel lockdown. The flight left Singapore at 8:35 am for Delhi on Friday with one more scheduled for Delhi and one each for Bangalore and Mumbai, Jawed Ashraf, Indian High Commissioner to Singapore, had told PTI.