Roaming the streets of Singapore is the new robot police that rounds like regular police officers but can do it 24/7. Some residents have accepted it, but it has hit a nerve that the government is watching more.
The robot drones enforce rules and regulations in Singapore's streets and restrict illegal activities, wrong parking, and dispersing large groups. But the constant surveillance has not been accepted by the majority who call it dystopian and feeling too monitored.
New robot police Xavier roams the streets of Singapore
Robotic Xavier is a constantly on the move surveillance system with seven cameras to remind the populace to avoid breaking the rules. Even those placing bikes in illegal places reported the Daily Star.
One of the functions is to enforce strict COVID-19 protocols, especially when social distancing is forgotten, like when a small crowd gathered to watch a chess game played by two seniors.
Standard protocol instructions of three feet social distancing, and any gather of more than five are dissuaded in the streets. Its seven cameras scan everything.
Locals worry about dystopian future
Frannie Teo, a Singaporean local, expressed doubts that Xavier is doing anything beneficial like a Hollywood movie. Images of AI-enabled robots bringing in the dystopian nightmare made her shiver at the thought of being watched, noted Stars Alert.
The deployment of Xavier has struck a chord with digital rights activist Lee Yi Ting, as the country is increasingly critical of what people do daily. Those living in the country are feeling to self-censor themselves than those in western countries, she added.
Also, what is worse than having the government watch everything everybody does is not the problem. People are not complaining and accept the reality of being monitored by Singapore's new robot police.
For a small island that is about half of London's size, there are a total of 90,000 cameras all over that watch every move. If the surveillance cams have not caused friction, a facial recognition system will identify and locate everyone wherever they go, cited a Massive Updates.
Robot police force to aid Singapore's aging workforce
One of the reasons the system is needed to keep track of everyone's whereabouts is that the aging population is getting more, and younger people are not enough to guard the island.
But Lily Ling of the Singapore Food Agency approves Xavier's deployment to keep apace of illegal street vendors. The robot will improve monitoring on the street and is a crackdown even with a minor law enforcement detail.
One of the advantages of the agency's use of robots is that it takes many officers to cover the island at all times, which cannot be 24/7. But if the robots are used extensively, fewer patrols are needed to be done.
The government issued a press release to give locals an idea of how the system works to be understood and avoid questions.
The system will be programmed by public officers based on community regulations and use artificial intelligence to go about its beat autonomously avoid hitting anything with a sensor to guide its path.
All the patrols are done automatically by the machine's artificial intelligence too. Using the Xavier is critical to plug the gaps where more officers are needed. All the operations are controlled via a central control, where Singapore's new robot police are connected.