Since robots are going to take over the world eventually, why not use their services for our benefit for the time being?
Singapore’s Home Team Science and Technology Agency has introduced two new robocops in the streets that are on the lookout for “bad social behavior” from people passing by. The small robots, both named Xavier are responsible for detecting small violations such as improperly parked bicycles, public smoking and even keeping an eye out for people breaking COVID protocols such as taking off their masks in public areas. This wouldn’t be surprising considering the country already has pretty heavy surveillance on its citizens so adding another face recognition system in the streets wouldn’t be something too out of the ordinary.
The HTSTA announced the start of the program on Sunday with the robots on public trial, so as of now so you won’t see them in action or running after bad guys just yet. While the name Xavier gives off a more sinister impression of the robots, they’re really similar to the small and cute pizza-delivery bots so you don’t have to worry about getting terminated by them (not yet, anyway). The robots are primarily used for their face-recognition cameras to issue an alert to the nearby people or display reminders about following protocols.
Officials hope that these robots will serve as helping hands to the law enforcement instead of replacing human cops. “Xavier can potentially augment our enforcement presence and deter errant active mobility behavior on footpaths. It could also provide intelligence on new hotspots or areas where egregious active mobility users have been spotted to help focus our physical enforcement efforts,” said Calvin Ng, Land Transport Authority Director of Enforcement and Compliance Management.