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If you visit Singapore Ministry of Communications and Information, you might see the autonomous running mask detection and social distance checking robot deployed at the arena.
With this COVID-19 pandemic, it often causes unhappiness or confusion when a staff come in front of a guest to remind him or her to wear a mask or remind them keep social distances with other guests. It is also very labour intensive to deploy many staffs to cover every corner such as ticketing stations, canteens, playgrounds, or shops. To improve customer experiences, and cut unnecessary manpower cost, a better way is needed.
The above challenges can be perfectly solved with AI-powered autonomous robots. The robot can play a nice message to remind guests to follow the recommended COVID-19 social responsibilities. AI technology can be used detect those who are not wearing masks, or who are standing too close with others (e.g. not following social distance measuring). Before the official deployment, we can take many pictures (with or without masking) using our cameras on the robot from different locations at Sentosa, and train the AI model to understand the difference between masking and unmasking, as well as estimating social distances.
The social distancing robot (mask detection, and social distancing detection) greatly reduces the manpower needed for the purpose of COVID-19-related patrolling. It also making the places more harmonic, as less people-to-people reminding of "wearing masks, keep distancing", eventually creating a better place for the property owner, as well as the visitors.
On average, the robot can work about 16 hours per day (reserving the rest 8 hours for charging), which is about the work of two-man shift. Besides improving the productivity, the robot is tireless. We can also add more robots when necessary.
However, we have to emphasize that the robot is not made for replacing human's job. The robot is complementary to human. The robot cannot easily climb the stairs on patrol the hallway, neither has the agility to quickly respond to an emergency. The robot is made to the repeated work while human don't want to do, e.g., endlessly navigating from point A to point B.
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