Far from barking his orders, a robotic dog used by Singapore authorities to curb coronavirus infections in the city-state politely asks joggers and cyclists to stay separated.
The remote-controlled four-legged machine built by Boston Dynamics was first used on Friday in a central park as part of a two-week trial that allowed it to join other robots that monitor Singapore's green spaces during a nationwide blockade.
"Let's keep Singapore healthy," the yellow-black robodog named SPOT said in English as he roamed the area.
"For your own safety and for your environment, please stand at least one meter apart. Thank you," he added in a low, feminine voice.
Despite the intricacies, violations of Singapore's strict blocking rules can result in heavy fines and even prison terms.
The city-state with 5.7 million inhabitants has more than 21,000 cases, one of the highest in Asia. This is mainly due to mass infections among migrant workers who live in cramped dormitories in areas that are little visited by tourists.
According to the rules for enforcing the blockage until June 1st, residents are only allowed to leave their homes for important excursions such as grocery shopping and must wear a mask at all times in public.
Outdoor sports are allowed, but must be done alone. Another robot in the form of a small car was used on a nearby reservoir to warn visitors not to "hang around" and "meetings are not allowed".
The authorities behind the recent process – state technology and cyber security agencies – said in a statement that SPOT could better cross rough terrain in parks and gardens.
SPOT not only sends messages reminding visitors of social distance measures, but is also equipped with cameras and analysis tools to estimate the number of people in the park.
The authorities said the cameras could not track people or record personal information. SPOT has also recently been tested for use in a makeshift hospital where patients are given medication.
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and published from a syndicated feed.)