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Xavier Robots On Patrol For 'Anti-Social Behavior'
Singapore's "Xavier" robots have seven cameras that enable them to detect "undesirable social behavior"; better watch where you park your bike, or if you smoke in an unauthorized area or if social distancing is not being respected.
Singapore is frequently criticised for curbing civil liberties and people are accustomed to tight controls, but there is still growing unease at intrusive tech, according to AFP.
The island of 5.5 million inhabitants has seen an arsenal of surveillance technology installed in the streets across the tightly controlled city-state.
It already has some 90,000 police cameras - a number set to double by 2030 - in place and appears to be on the lookout for the newest technologies, such as facial recognition devices installed on lampposts, to help authorities pick out faces in a crowd.
Xavier doesn't look too threatening, but it's only a matter of time before enforcement follows on the heels of detection of anti-social behavior.
(ED-209 enforcement droid from Robocop)
Fans recall the experimental robot cop from Harry Harrison's excellent 1958 story Arm of the Law:
Experimental or not, this was a nice-looking hunk of machinery. A uniform navy-blue all over, though the outlet cases, hooks and such were a metallic gold... This was as close as a robot could get to a cop in uniform, without being a joke.
Then I noticed the tiny glow of light in the robot's eye lenses...
"Get out of that box," I said.
The robot came up smooth and fast as a rocket, landing two feet in front of me and whipping out a snappy salute.
(Read more about the police experimental robot)
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