This photo of a robot roaming an MRT station shows what the future of Singapore’s transport hubs could be like

A robot was deployed to patrol Hougang MRT station on Dec 5.
Facebook / Land Transport Authority

Are you ready for robots to be your “security officers” at MRT stations and bus interchanges?

On Wednesday (Dec 5), the Land Transport Authority (LTA) tested the navigational and surveillance capabilities of a roving security robot by having it patrol Hougang MRT Station.

The robot was deployed in conjunction with Exercise Station Guard – a regular emergency preparedness exercise carried out with public transport operators to strengthen resilience and security of the public transport network.

Read also: MRT commuters may soon need to walk through metal detectors and pass belongings through X-ray scanners: LTA

The robot is equipped with cameras for 360-degrees surveillance.
Singapore Press Holdings

Developed by ST Engineering, the robot has “eyes” at the back of its head as it’s equipped with 360-degrees surveillance cameras, according to LTA.

And it knows where to go. Using sensors and an in-built GPS, it’s able to patrol a designated area which is pre-set into its system, LTA said.

Its control console is situated within LTA’s Incident Response Vehicle (IRV) for public transport incident management.

An operator monitoring the situation in LTA’s IRV.
Singapore Press Holdings

The IRV contains telecommunications equipment and a deployable camera system which transmits “live” footage from the site back to LTA’s Land Transport Operations Centre at its headquarters in Hampshire Road.

According to the authority, the IRV enhances LTA’s situational awareness when it is deployed during major incidents and events.

LTA is also looking to integrate video and audio analytics technologies when this autonomous platform is fully developed.

A similar robot was deployed during the 33rd Asean Summit last month by the Singapore Police Force (SPF) to patrol the Suntec Singapore International Convention and Exhibition Centre.

On Feb 23, the SPF patrol robot made its debut showcase at Chingay 2018.

The authority said on its website that robots will not be used to completely take over the roles of (human) security officers. Instead, robots will be used to complement them.

LTA is exploring the use of robotics to potentially complement the deployment of security officers in the future.
Singapore Press Holdings.

LTA said: “The use of un-manned robots could potentially complement the deployment of security officers in the future.”

It added that it’s exploring the use of robotics to also “complement existing security measures at public transport nodes”.

Read also: