There are now robots in Singapore to monitor the safety of citizens. Xavier patrol robots are scheduled to roam the streets of Singapore to detect “undesirable social behavior.” Robots move among people on regular routes. They are equipped with seven cameras to detect any irregularities in proper social behavior. Unpleasant behavior can be detected if someone stops a vehicle incorrectly or if someone lights a cigarette in an unauthorized zone. The robot will monitor whether people are following the correct social distance ethics.
In the video released by Euronews, the robot wheels look like a sophisticated and compact metal structure and lift the neck to almost the height of a human. However, it is very powerful because it can collect visual information through its seven different cameras. The robot also shows news about keeping the city safe and maintaining social distance.
Project Manager Michael Lim said the machines were a new security weapon. In a video interview, he said, “Even though Singapore is safe, things can happen that we did not expect. So, if the robot is around, if something happens, those in the control room will have a record of it so they can see what happened.
The robots were initially subjected to a three-week test in September. They were tested at a home estate and a shopping center.
This is not the first time Singapore has tried to track its people with robots and fast-growing technology. 90,000 police cameras are mounted on lampposts. These cameras feature facial recognition technology that enables officers to monitor individuals.
Although these cameras and police robots are supposed to monitor anti-social behavior, their constant surveillance has also raised questions about human rights.
Lee Yi Ding, a digital rights activist, felt “dystopian” considering the extent to which citizens were monitored. However, the activist felt that “it was normalized and people did not respond much to it” was even more dystopian.