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High-tech Robot Guards at Singapore’s MRT Stations

Singapore MRT Stations Robot Guards
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Don’t be surprised if you see a robot staring you down while you are at Singapore’s MRT stations.

The new addition to Singapore’s use of technology as part of boosting its security efforts is the implementation of high-tech robot guards at the MRT station.

OB1FORC3 and the K3NOBI models of robots are two new robots, which have been deployed at Ang Mo Kio MRT station, equipped with intelligent surveillance cameras, sensors and video analytics capabilities.

These robots were developed by local security company Oneberry Technologies. The robots were deployed as part of Exercise Station Guard, an emergency preparedness exercise which is conducted by the Land Transport Authority (LTA) and SMRT as part of their efforts for enabling operational readiness and strengthening security in public places.

The robots were tasked to observe and identify suspicious-looking people and stray items. Security officers were able to survey the area remotely by viewing the surroundings through the robots’ cameras and video analytics capabilities.

Senior Minister of State for Transport, Janil Puthucheary, observed this exercise.

Commuters at Ang Mo Kio MRT station were also involved in the exercise, taking part in security screenings where they had to walk through a metal detector and their personal items to be scanned by X-ray machines.

Such robots have been deployed for surveillance before at the Interpol World conference at the Sands Expo and Convention Centre at Marina Bay Sands in July this year.

Similar exercises using robot guards were conducted since February last year. This was done in an effort to update the security measures, contingency plans and operational readiness at public transport nodes in Singapore.

In December last year, LTA trialled a 1.6m-tall ST Engineering robot, fit with seven cameras, at Hougang MRT station.

The robot came with an in-built Global Positioning System (GPS) as well as sensors that bounced lasers off objects giving it the ability to patrol designated areas.

Remote operation of robots and devices for daily operations is becoming of interest within the security and defence industry.

Similar efforts have been made in the security industry, such as the implementation of a new remote visitor-logging system at condominiums.

Glendale Park condominium, located in Hillview, has a new system implemented. A speaker has been positioned at the entrance of the condominium, through which a security guard from the remote command centre in Ubi will converse with the driver.

The vehicle’s licence plate number is recorded and the driver’s face is taken by a surveillance camera.

Once this information has been verified, the gantry is lifted, and the driver can proceed in.

The local security firm, Focus Security, and its sister company Asiatact, have spent the past five years creating this remote visitor-logging system. This system is currently in place at four condominiums here.

The security industry is starting to find ways of reducing manpower needs and investing more in the use of technology. This in efforts for reducing the dependence on manpower to carry out tasks.

Such a system is ideal for combining the use of manpower and technology together to achieve the most efficient outcomes.


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