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Singapore to launch remotely-controlled robot to enable seniors to "visit" museums

Staff Writer |
Seniors with difficulties to move around will soon be able to "visit" three heritage institutions with the help of a mobile telepresence robot, the National Heritage Board of Singapore announced.

Starting from June this year, they will be able to "tour" the Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall, Malay Heritage Centre and Indian Heritage Centre and communicate with a museum guide without having to physically set foot inside each institution.

Under the "Be My Robo-Date" program, the three institutions will become the first museums in Asia to introduce such service.

All the visitors need to do is to install a controlling software and book online in advance. The visitors can control the robot through the heritage institutions at their chosen paces and there will be a museum guide to accompany the robot and converse with the remote visitors.

Besides allowing the remote visitors to view the galleries and their artefacts, the robot can also let the visitors to zoom in on artefacts that they are interested in.

In addition, the robot is equipped with an assisted driving function to prevent it from knocking into exhibits.

The National Heritage Board's heritage institutions are partnering with a nursing home to trial test the robot with its residents before making the robot available for online booking.

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