Yet Another Job for Spot

Spot is truly a jack of all trades. Most recently, a Spot-like quadruped robot has been seen on the streets of Shanghai barking at people to stay indoors.

COVID-19 ha shut down the city of Shanghai, with 26 million people on lockdown. 73,000 cases of the disease have been reported in the past month, and the government is taking no chances. Strict quarantines and isolation are being enforced while the government works on testing all the citizens.

But keeping people indoors is tough.

Getting the word out

One of the tools being used is Spot, or a lookalike, with a speaker strapped to its back. It is saying, “Wear face masks, wash your hands frequently, take your temperature and disinfect your flat,” according to Xuancheng Daily.

On lockdown for another week or two, the listeners have time to disinfect their flats and they might as well. But online observers of the robot reminder have dubbed it “creepy” and “dystopian.”

One UK paper described the situation in this fairly inaccurate style: “Robot dogs are being given loudspeakers and told to roam the streets of Shanghai telling people to stay at home .”

There is something about having a robot give people orders that creeps people out. We’re not sure that having human beings roaming around the abandoned streets reading people to take their temperatures would really be much less creepy. But that’s real life. Twitter is another matter.

The point of automation

Automation is intended to take on tasks that are dirty, dangerous, and dull. We think wandering around Shanghai reminding people to stay home because of the COVID-19 outbreak probably meets those criteria.

What about your robots? They’re probably doing dirty, dull, dangerous tasks for you, and you need them to continue. When your Indramat drive and control systems need service, we can help. We’re Indramat specialists and we can get your facility up and running fast.