SBS Transit To Deploy Robot Dog For Train Inspection At North East Line Depot
In the neverending pursuit of efficiency, companies have been looking into incorporating automation into their work processes, taking over jobs once deemed manual.
One such company is SBS Transit, which announced that it would be deploying a “super smart” robot dog to conduct train inspection at its North East Line Depot.
While the robot dog has also been described as “friendly”, fans of the Black Mirror sci-fi series will feel that they’ve seen something like it before.
SBS Transit to deploy robot dog to detect missing screws & panels on trains
On Wednesday (24 May), SBS Transit took to Facebook to share some of its latest tech implementations.
The innovation that stole the show was kAI, a “friendly robotic dog” set to be deployed at North East Line Depot, where it will be tasked with carrying out train inspections.
While most dogs are probably best at detecting food or illegal substances, kAI is skilled in detecting missing screws and panels on the underside of train carriages.
SBS Transit estimates with kAI’s deployment, the time needed for train inspections will be halved.
The transport company also shared that they plan on training kAI to do “even more”, just like an owner teaching a dog new tricks.
Using 3D printing & AI software to optimise train frequencies
Apart from kAI, SBS Transit also announced that they’ve turned to 3D printing for some train parts that are in low demand or those that are “not readily available”.
This will allow SBS Transit to only “print on demand”, so they no longer need to store parts in their inventory.
Additionally, 3D printing technology also allows them to create parts in-house, allowing them to cut back on transportation expenses and reduce their carbon footprint without compromising on reliability.
SBS Transit has also introduced an AI software that optimises train frequency such that one train arrives at a station just as another departs.
This would allow the company to ‘repurposes’ regenerative energy from a “braking train” to power up an accelerating train.
The transport company estimates that the energy saved will be sufficient to power up 750 four-room HDB flats, saving them about S$1 million in their energy bills.
Robotic dog’s design reminds us of Black Mirror
Though kAI’s deployment will likely translate to higher efficiency and effectiveness for SBS Transit, we can’t help but be reminded of the dark robotic dogs featured in the sci-fi series Black Mirror.
Similarly perched on all fours, the robotic creatures in the show were capable of launching shrapnel-like trackers into human targets and would murder them in cold blood when presented with the opportunity to do so.
Appearances aside, it’s clear that the pair do not share any other similarities, especially their ‘job scopes’. Right?
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Featured image adapted from SBS Transit Ltd on Facebook.
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