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Robocop spotted on Singapore streets catching smokers, COVID rule breakers


Singapore has taken the next step in technology enabled policing. The country bets big on AI-powered robots to carry out civil tasks. It has now deployed a new Robot-cop on a trial run to stop people breaking rules on streets.

The robocop, named Xavier, is a four-wheeled, AI-powered surveillance bot that is tasked to catch people smoking, parking illegally or breaking rules like COVID protocols.

Tasked with catch petty offenders, the robot is a ground patrol police and is roaming the streets in the city’s major districts looking out for behaviour that is undesirable. The trial run for Xavier will continue for three weeks from September 5.

Apart from catching people smoking, illegal hawking, parking bikes illegally, Xavier will also disperse crowds of more than 5 people, as per Singapore’s COVID-19 guidelines.

The AI-powered robot is equipped with a 360-degree camera console, aided by expensive sensors. Xavier is an autonomous robot that patrols the streets by itself and does not need any human orders.

It was seen patrolling a commercial and residential district called Toa Payoh Central on Monday, September 6, 2021.

Robocop Xavier also reminds people to adhere to guidelines and not indulge in activities not permitted in public places.

On catching people breaking rules, Xavier alerts the central ‘command and control’ center in real-time and conveys the orders received back to offenders via an in-built loudspeaker.

As per Singapore city, the robot is specially designed to aide the police officers and reduce their burden on physical patrolling.

Robotic deployments with police forces are on the rise around the world. However, these has been resistance from the public. Recently, the New York Police Department had to take down a robotic police dog after public outrage over the cost of the project and concerns around privacy.

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