- A new AI-powered police robot called Xavier is patrolling the streets of Singapore in a trial to tackle petty offenses.
- According to the city, Xavier is intended to supplement the work of cops on foot by minimizing the necessity for physical patrols.
- Singapore’s government has controversially gained access to private people’s mobile phones and Internet data.
Robocop on Duty
There’s a new cop in town in Singapore, and it’s delivering justice on four wheels. A ‘ground patrol’ police robot is presently being tested in one of the city’s key areas in order to detect and combat “unwanted” behavior.
Over the following three weeks, the robot, dubbed Xavier, will patrol crowds to address issues such as smoking, unlawful hawking, and poor bicycle parking. It will also make an effort to break up public gatherings of more than five individuals in accordance with the city state’s stringent Covid-19 regulations.
The AI-powered robot roams the streets independently and without human intervention, thanks to 360-degree cameras and hundreds of costly sensors. If it identifies minor rule violations, it transmits real-time notifications to a central ‘command and control center and shouts commands at the violators over a megaphone.
Minimizing Physical Patrols
According to the city, Xavier is intended to supplement the work of cops on foot by minimizing the necessity for physical patrols.
“The deployment of ground robots will help to augment our surveillance and enforcement resources,” says Lily Ling, a director at the Singapore Food Agency who contributed to the robot’s development.
“For instance, the surveillance of illegal hawkers can be manpower intensive as officers need to be deployed at various areas across the island. The adoption of robotics technology can be used to enhance such operations.”
Singapore’s history of monitoring citizens
Singapore is well-known for its intensive monitoring of its residents. In addition to CCTV cameras, the Singaporean government uses drones, sensors, and facial recognition to keep an eye on the people.
The government has controversially gained access to private people’s mobile phones and Internet data. Police robots are rapidly being used in places throughout the world.
The New York Police Department was forced to ‘put down’ a robotic police canine in April due to public outrage over privacy issues and the cost.