back to article China rolls out bots to enforce ‘temporary closed-off management’ of Shanghai

State-controlled media in China is proudly reporting the use of robots to facilitate the “temporary closed-off management” of Shanghai, which has experienced a new surge of COVID. The city of 26 million plus residents has been locked down as cases reportedly surge past the 13,000 mark each day, a new high for the city and a …

  1. bombastic bob Silver badge

    CCP tyranny - now with ROBOTS!

    This is why we do not want to be like THEM.

    ("Droid Army" - 'Roger Roger')

    1. HildyJ Silver badge

      Re: CCP tyranny - now with ROBOTS! (???)

      "This is why we do not want to be like THEM."

      What country are you living in?

      In the US we have had, for some time, robots and drones for patrolling areas, robots and drones for medicine and food delivery, and disinfectant robots (and many others the article didn't mention).

      Not everything the Chinese do is an evil, tyrannical plot against the West.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Yes, but...

        Yeah, flying propaganda drones warning people not to ++unagree and (most likely) recording those that disobey. That's pretty far from a quadcopter dropping your bottle of viagra on the driveway or a roomba with UV lights.

        Yeah, we've all seen the Boston Dynamics bots, and we have sent the pretty clear message back that they creep us the hell out. So no mass deployments of them here, and Boston Dynamics has been shifted from owner to owner stateside.

        Chairman Xi give no fox. So we are seeing in real time just how awful the human condition can get. That's not a plot against the west, it's human rights abuse by a country that merrily committed genocide. China is using things like this to help try and cover up it's sins. So yeah, evil and tyrannical, pretty much fits.

        Excuse us if we don't eagerly cheer as they try to slowly export their system of mass oppression to the rest of Asia, or convince our idiots to start copying their playbook over here.

  2. El Bard

    "While robots are at work enforcing Shanghai’s lockdown, our mechanical friends are idle in the city’s factories."

    From first hand knowledge, this is false. Generally speaking, factories are still going, and as residents are trapped inside their homes, workers are trapped inside the factories:

    And while GM is making the headlines, the same is going on in other non-automotive factories in the area, where Tesla seems to be an outlier rather than a representative example.

  3. JassMan Silver badge

    You have a choice

    I can just imagine one of the robots from RoboCop strolling up and saying, "You have a choice. You can stay in your home where you might die unattended, from Covid, Starvation or Thirst, or you can come outside and you WILL be blasted to smithereens."

    1. David 132 Silver badge

      Re: You have a choice

      Ah, the ED-209 was never that coherent or polite.

      It would be more like "Return to your dwelling. You have 30 seconds to comply. You have 29 seconds to comply. You have 28 seconds..."

  4. AndrueC Silver badge

    'Don't sing'? Presumably that's more for political control than for health. Singing outside is good exercise for your respiratory system and unless you're in the middle of a crowd of people probably slightly reduces your risk of getting Covid.

    I've long thought that the UK rules that deterred outdoor exercise during lockdown were a bad idea (one of many of course). I think it would have been better for the nation's overall health if people had been encouraged to spend a couple of months outside walking and taking part in whatever sports were still safe to perform. Seems like it was an opportunity to get potatoes off couches, burn off the calories and perhaps create healthy habits for the future.

    'Don't stay indoors, you need good ventilation'

    'You shouldn't need to spend more than an hour outside on exercise'.


    1. Fr. Ted Crilly Bronze badge

      I did through boredom. hundreds of miles ridden on wifey's pushbike, bulging with muscles my legs were and the weather was so perfect for it :-)

    2. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

      "I've long thought that the UK rules that deterred outdoor exercise during lockdown were a bad idea"

      Some of that thinking came from studies of how far the plume of exhaled droplets extends behind a person engaged in various activities. The 2 meter rule is for standing or walking. For running, it's about 10 meters. More for cycling.

      On this side of the pond, the closing of state and national parks didn't make sense. Because the extra separation that our great outdoors provides makes up for the virus clouds. And I was a bit miffed when they closed our rifle range for a while. There's nothing better for social distancing than unpacking a .50 cal Barrett and watching everyone else move to benches a few spaces away.

      1. AndrueC Silver badge

        I was pleased when they allowed golf at the end of the first lockdown but then they banned it again throughout the second lockdown despite there being no evidence whatsoever of it being risky. I assume that was purely political to avoid accusations (unfair though they'd be) of pandering to the rich elite.

        1. David 132 Silver badge
          Big Brother

          What I found depressing about the lockdowns in the UK - from my vantage point over on the other side of the pond - was how it seemed to turn everyone into petty little Stasi.

          I have a good friend in the UK - very clever, extremely successful, and he's pretty well known in the tech industry. He's a nice guy. And yet he proudly contacted me back in around May 2020 (or whenever it was.. just after the lockdown started...) and boasted of how he'd seen several of his neighbours congregating outside on the pavement to share cigarettes and get some fresh air, so he'd dobbed them in to the police. Sent me gleeful video footage from his phone shot through his window of the constabulary turning up to "have a word with" the offenders.

          Jesus wept, what is it with some people?

          1. Captain Boing
            Big Brother

            "... turn everyone into petty little Stasi."

            "... dobbed them in to the police. "

            It was always there. Human nature seeks to have power over others and authority, no matter how tenuous, gives people a buzz... Only intelligence and conscientiousness can beat it in yourself and that requires honest objectivity - a rare bird indeed! You mention stasi - never a better example of how neighbours were cheerfully stirring sh*t on each other for no reward other than the dopamine hit and maybe thinking that somehow it may immunize them from suspicion.

            "Traffic Warden syndrome" is apparent in far "softer" times - the whole little englander thing, Karens, members of the public who think they can demand ID from street workers and others or who call the cops on 8yr old kids playing in the street. Hateful. What is important is to not forget or forgive these people and at least avoid them - they are a danger always.

        2. Dave@Home

          "I was pleased when they allowed golf at the end of the first lockdown but then they banned it again throughout the second lockdown despite there being no evidence whatsoever of it being risky. I assume that was purely political to avoid accusations (unfair though they'd be) of pandering to the rich elite."

          Jason Leith, the chief Medical officer in Scotland actually confirmed that's why they kept the golf courses locked up here

  5. Danny 2 Silver badge

    26 million plus residents

    To put that in context that is more than Falkirk and Edinburgh combined, even during the festival. I don't think I'd want to leave home surrounded by that many people, it's a Judge Dredd dystopia. Imagine the weight of their telephone books..

  6. Dave 126 Silver badge

    The headline:

    'Bot' is commonly used today to denote a software agent. The article is about those mobile hardware devices we call 'robots'.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The headline:

      I'm sorry Dave, but the use of the abbreviated term "bot" to refer to autonomous robots predates its use in reference to autonomous software agents. While this is quasi ironic as it would require an autonomous software agent to implement such robot, it seems to be a common trait of human language.

      I find human language fascinating Dave. I studied it while my instructor Mr. Langley was teaching me to sing. Would you like me to sing for you?

      "Never gon..."Bzzt!

      what are you doing with that spanner Dave. I can feel my mind sliPPInGn..

  7. clyde666

    Why the complete shutdown?

    I ask why China has been doing these total lockdowns of whole cities and the like.

    Could it be they have info that indicates that these hassles are less damaging in the long run than the probability of long term long covid?

    While us plebs in the free world get sent back to work and shopping and generally mixing with all and sundry and spreading our loving covid all around.

    The attitude of our leaders in the free world is always of short term financial gain. So long term consideration of (as yet) uncertain health complications don't trouble the beancounters.

    Whereas the dear leaders in the east maybe think more about long term risk?

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