Technology 3 min read

Automated Singapore now Implementing Robot Security Guards

Vlad Kochelaevskiy /

Vlad Kochelaevskiy /

The city of Singapore continues to utilize robotics in all economic sectors to compensate for a shortage of workers. The latest robot deployed into the workforce is a security guard called O-R3.

At the forefront of the next-gen, smart-city movement, Singapore turns toward new high tech, and robotics, in particular, to address the inherent problems of modern society. While other countries are developing robotics for mainly commercial benefits, Singapore has more urgent needs: an aging society and the subsequent labor crunch are threats to the city’s forward progress.

Meet O-R3, Singapore's new Robot Security Guards.Click To Tweet

For Singapore, Being a “Smart Nation” is not an Option

The 277 square mile city-state of Singapore is home to a total population of 5.6 million people (residents and non-residents). With a median age of 40 years, coupled with increasing life expectancy, the population is rapidly aging. In 2016, 470,000 citizens were aged 65 and above and, by, 2030, the number is expected to double, while at the same time, working-age citizens, aged 20-64, will decline.

Historically the city has always been a haven for foreign workers, but these cohorts of newcomers will only add yet another strain as they themselves age.

Robots don’t age, and their performance doesn’t deteriorate with time. The Singaporean government has been pushing toward the adoption of non-human solutions by encouraging businesses to adopt automated and robotic systems. Over the next three years, the government set aside a $333 million fund dedicated to further development and deployment or robotic and automated solutions.

Beyond that, the “Smart City” master plan is overseeing the island’s digital revolution, built around five key domains: transportation, home and environment, health and enabled aging, public sector services, and business productivity.

Robot security guards are a perfect line of defense for such an automated city.

O-R3, Ground and Aerial Robot Security Guards

As the shortage of workers, especially in services, grows in Singapore, service robots are being deployed across several businesses and institutions including hospitals, hotels, restaurants, driverless taxis and even libraries.

As robots are improving more and more in terms of their versatility and performance, they are being applied in more fields. There are 400 robots for every 10,000 factory workers in Singapore, which at this rate, is the world’s second-most robot-enabled sovereign state after South Korea.

OTSAW Digital has unveiled its new robot, named O-R3, which is destined for ground and aerial outdoor security patrols. Standing at 5m and weighing 80kg, O-R3 is a system that comprises a four-wheeled vehicle and a small aerial drone housed in a side compartment.

Powered by machine learning algorithms, GPS, cameras, and multi-sensors, the O-R3 can patrol large outdoor areas 24/7 without human guidance, but human monitors can override the system when necessary. O-R3 can pursue intruders (by the drone) and transmit real-time alerts to human security personnel.

It can even self-charge when energy is running low.

OTSAW Digital–which intends to lease the system to clients at a hefty $10,000 USD a month–demonstrated O-R3 during CommunicAsia17, which was in Singapore between the 23rd and 25th of May.

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Zayan Guedim

Trilingual poet, investigative journalist, and novelist. Zed loves tackling the big existential questions and all-things quantum.

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