Singapore’s New Robot "Patrol Pal" Makes its Way Around the Heartlands

Singapore’s New Robot “Patrol Pal” Makes its Way Around the Heartlands

And its name is Xavier!

Pedestrians around Toa Payoh Central might’ve spotted Singapore’s newest robot roaming the area. Also known as Xavier, this autonomous robot, or “Patrol Pal”, has been deployed by several public agencies to deter undesirable social behaviour. 

Also read: Tourists Be Warned: 13 Things You Just Can’t Do in Singapore

These public agencies include Home Team Science and Technology Agency (HTX), National Environment Agency, Land Transport Authority, Singapore Food Agency, and Housing & Development Board (HDB). In particular, Xavier was developed by HTX in partnership with The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR).  

What does Xavier do? 

Specifically, the social behaviours Xavier will be monitoring are: 

  • Ensuring social distancing as part of COVID-19 safety measures 
  • Identifying smoking in prohibited areas
  • Illegal hawking
  • Improperly parked bicycles within Toa Payoh HDB Hub 
  • Motorised active mobility devices and motorcycles on footpaths 

Once identified, Xavier will send real-time alerts to the command and control centre. Thereafter, its monitor will display an appropriate message; in turn, this aids in educating the public, and hopefully, deters such future behaviours. 

The introduction of the novel Singapore robot will alleviate the manpower required for foot patrols and improve efficiency, including assisting in surveillance efforts. 

How does Xavier navigate crowded places?

With 360-degree video sensors and safety features to navigate autonomously, crowds won’t have to worry about Xavier bumping into them. Besides, with these sensors, Xavier will be able to identify new hotspots for potentially errant behaviour.

Seeing other “Xaviers” around Singapore

M.A.T.A.R. seen near the Marina Bay Floating Platform during the NDP2021 parade | Video credit: HTXSG Official Facebook Page 

The efficiency of robots is proving to be beneficial as countries become more technologically equipped and advanced. Just think about the robots we see at hawker centres for tray returns, or Spot, a robotic dog deployed at park connectors; like Xavier, Spot identifies socially undesirable behaviour too. 

Also read: Self-Driving Delivery Robot Hits the Streets in Japan

What do you think the next robot will be?

About Author

Cassandra Nerva
Cassandra Nerva

Cassandra seeks comfort in warm blankets, period dramas, and all things hazelnut. If she's not getting carried away with a wartime novel or decorating her house with plants & fairy lights, she's uncovering hidden gems around her as she continues to embrace her keen sense of adventure.