Singapore Police Force robot patrols Chingay 2018 for the first time

The Singapore Police Force patrol robot will be deployed after 8pm to patrol a 400m stretch at the end point of the Chingay parade.
The Singapore Police Force patrol robot will be deployed after 8pm to patrol a 400m stretch at the end point of the Chingay parade.ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG
The new police robot will debut at Chingay 2018, where it will be deployed after 8pm to patrol at the end of the parade.
The new police robot will debut at Chingay 2018, where it will be deployed after 8pm to patrol at the end of the parade.ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

SINGAPORE - Spectators at this year's Chingay parade might see a blue, white and red robot roving the grounds.

In its debut public showcase on Friday (Feb 23), the Singapore Police Force (SPF) patrol robot will help the police step up security efforts at Chingay 2018, which expects a 100,000-strong crowd on its first day.

This year's Chingay parade will be held on Friday and Saturday from 8pm to 9.30pm at the F1 Pit Building.

It will be deployed after 8pm to patrol a 400m stretch at the end point of the parade.

The robot, which feeds 360-degree live video back to the command post with its six surround cameras, can be used to detect threats and suspicious characters.

Only one operator is needed to monitor its video feed on a tablet device.

Officers can then make sense of those images and deploy forces accordingly, said assistant director of SPF's strategic planning division M. Malathi.

The robot can also be used for crowd dispersal with its in-built speakers, which can broadcast audio messages to the public.

It follows a pre-mapped route and is able to avoid obstacles in its way.

This is the patrol robot's first trial by the SPF.

If successful, it will be deployed in longer operations, such as during the Singapore Formula 1 event.

Offenders who damage it will be "dealt with under the law" as it is government property, said Ms Malathi.

She declined to comment on the cost involved to develop the robot, a process which took three months.

The SPF has at least two other robot prototypes in the works. More information on this will follow in its annual Workplan Seminar.