China Sends Drones & Robots To Relay Announcements In Shanghai
Since 28 Mar, Shanghai has essentially entered into lockdown, the strictest version ever since the start of the pandemic. With daily cases soaring beyond the norm, virtually everything in the city is closed, including emergency and essential services.
The message is clear — to stay home and, under no circumstance, leave your homes. However, the manner in which this was communicated may astound people worldwide.
Videos of drones and robot dogs patrolling Shanghai neighbourhoods, advising its residents to comply with Covid restrictions, have surfaced on the internet.
This dystopian look at reality in Shanghai also reflects the desperate nature of the situation.
China pilots drones above apartment blocks advising residents to comply
According to The Daily Mail, Shanghai authorities are allegedly flying drones above apartment blocks to relay important announcements and updates regarding the Covid-19 situation.
As the city enters the second week of the lockdown, residents have reportedly resorted to singing from their balconies as a form of protest amid food shortages.
In a short 13-second clip, a drone flies in Shanghai’s night sky and announces, in Mandarin: “Please comply with Covid-19 restrictions. Control your soul’s desire for freedom. Do not open the window or sing”.
As seen on Weibo: Shanghai residents go to their balconies to sing & protest lack of supplies. A drone appears: “Please comply w covid restrictions. Control your soul’s desire for freedom. Do not open the window or sing.” https://t.co/0ZTc8fznaV pic.twitter.com/pAnEGOlBIh
— Alice Su (@aliceysu) April 6, 2022
Severe as it may look, this video clip combines Chinese ingenuity, life in the pandemic and a scene from The Purge.
Robot dog trots along Shanghai road with a strapped megaphone
In a separate video clip, a robot ‘dog’ is seen trotting along an empty street in Shanghai.
Strapped on its back is a megaphone that announces the following in Mandarin, “Please sanitise. Wear a mask. Please wash your hands”.
Full Lockdown in Shanghai, this is how they broadcast announcements.
— Jay in Shanghai 🇨🇳 (@JayinShanghai) March 29, 2022
The Daily Mail reports that these robot dogs have a sizeable effect on residents as the locals feel they can’t disobey the messages.
Perhaps it’s the diminutive size of the robot, but its appearance does make you think that the producers of Black Mirror may be onto something.
Wishing Shanghai residents courage & strength during dark times
Every government can choose how they govern their nations. Due to China’s zero-Covid stance, residents have been bearing the brunt of the crisis as they tackle food shortages and scream in protest at windows.
These seemingly draconian measures aside, the usage of androids to advance the country’s goal of eliminating Covid-19 is chillingly brilliant.
However, it remains to be seen whether China’s pandemic strategy is effective. We hope Shanghai residents can find a way to stay strong and trudge on during these dark times.
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