Robots to patrol Toa Payoh Central for 3 weeks to detect 'undesirable social behaviour'

Includes smoking in prohibited areas and congregations of more than five people.

Tanya Ong | September 05, 2021, 01:39 PM

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Ground robots will be put on trial to patrol and survey a public area with high foot traffic.

This is a joint project involving five public agencies: HTX (Home Team Science and Technology Agency), National Environment Agency, Land Transport Authority, Singapore Food Agency, and Housing & Development Board.

Xavier on trial at Toa Payoh central

A media release stated that a HTX robot will be deployed for a three-week period from Sep. 5 to patrol Toa Payoh Central.

The robot(s), called Xavier, will weave its way autonomously through the crowds to detect "undesirable social behaviours". This includes:

  • Smoking in prohibited areas
  • Illegal hawking
  • Improperly parked bicycles within HDB Hub
  • Congregation of more than five people (in line with prevailing Safe Management Measures)
  • Motorised active mobility devices and motorcycles on footpaths

Here is its patrol route, configured in advance by public officers:

Photo via HTX.

Upon detecting any of these activities, it will trigger real-time alerts to the command and control centre, and display the appropriate message (depending on the scenario) to educate the public and deter such behaviours.

The deployment of the ground robot is intended to support the work of public officers and reduce the manpower required for foot patrols.

About Xavier

Photo via HTX

Xavier is able to navigate autonomously as it is fitted with different types of sensors, including safety feature. It can avoid stationary and dynamic obstacles, such as pedestrians and vehicles.

Xavier is also equipped with cameras that can provide 360-degree video feed to the command and control centre. Its cameras can also capture images and videos in dim light or the dark.

Data captured from Xavier’s cameras are streamed to a video analytics system, with artificial intelligence capability developed by HTX’s in-house computer vision engineers.

With an interactive dashboard, public officers can receive real-time information in a command and control centre, and be able to monitor and control multiple robots simultaneously.

The interactive dashboard allows officers to remotely respond to incidents on the ground via a two-way intercom or using pre-recorded audio messages.

Top photo via HTX.