Sitwat Maroof     17th Jun 2020
Yes, after spot the dog, it is time for Spot the Robot which is also a dog!
I know, on the face of it, it does sound a bit absurd and outlandish. On the other hand, though, we have a robot dog called Spot out there practically enforcing the new rules of social distancing. Wait a minute, but how, you must be thinking? Let me put it this way, we have come a long, long way in tech advancement where we can now have machines formally introduced in the workforce.
Let’s think about it for a moment, we have a robot – a machine for crying out loud - letting people know about the utmost importance of social distancing! When millions are at risk with hundreds of thousands dead already as a result of novel Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, you would think people will take the hint and do the necessary. But here we are: a robot has to spell it out for us to be responsible.
That's right, that's exactly what Spot did! The spot was let out in one of Singapore's national parks to tell people that you will do the right thing for yourself and others by practicing social distancing. To put it simply, Spot broke their little party and got them to get the hell away from each other. And that was exactly the idea behind this move from the government of Singapore.
Spot the robot, the baby of Boston Dynamics is yellow and black in color with canine based design. Just by the way, it speaks in a soft, feminine voice and implores to silly people that “Let’s keep Singapore healthy” and that “for your own safety and for those around you, please stand at least one meter apart”.
And for those who are privacy-centric about everything, yes, Spot has cameras! These cameras will only allow Spot to know the number of present in the park and too close together in direct violation of social distancing rules. Exactly, these cameras don't track you or identify you nor gather any data on you! So, if you begin to spot lots of Spot like robots out there in the coming days and weeks, getting you to do the needful, – which you should be doing anyway and that too without any prompting given the tragic state of affairs – please listen to it and don’t panic!
Spot only goes out during the peak time to help out the law enforcement guys and girls. It only echoes a pre-recorded message of good telling us to maintain distance from each other – physical distance, that is.
On the serious note, using robots will not only reduce the exposure to the COVID-19 but will also give a breather to already overwhelmed healthcare systems worldwide and exhausted to the bone essential workers. In the current ground reality, Spot fits the bill to join the workforce officially.
Sitwat is a technical writer of significant expertise and experience. She has written on the subjects of futuristic technologies, web/software development, cloud computing, cyber-security, data science, amongst others. She assists clients to reach their targeted audiences successfully.