Dalek-like Law-Enforcement Robots Patrol Streets of California
The streets of Palo Alto, California have started to resemble a scene from BBC sci-fi show Doctor Who as Dalek-like robots have been rolled out to help the fight on crime.
Yes, these automated police robots are friendlier than the cyborgs first seen on our tellies in 1963 and we’re certain they don’t have little squid people in the driving seat. In fact they were made right here on Earth by a Cali company named Knightscope which is headed by a former police agent, and co-incidentally the name they have given to the robots is “K5” (not far off K9 – the Doctor’s trusty robot dog).
As the K5 bots are not officially on the force yet and are still in the development and funding phase, they are only intended for monitoring and surveillance to assist their human colleagues in patrolling public places to ‘predict crime’ and identify any threat, and also to rove potential danger zones without putting the cops at risk. The developers at Knightscope are promising that if fully employed the K5 units would reduce crime by 50%.
The 5-foot tall ‘autonomous data machines’ (ADMs) have an artificial intelligence and can communicate with one another and record 360 degrees high definition video, uploading their findings to a security network. Members of the public can also report crimes of suspicious activity to the K5s by pressing an ‘Emergency’ button on their front and speaking to it. When they start to get tired they are aware of it and can charge themselves on a power pad like a parking bay.
Unlike the Daleks, the peaceful K5s do not get ‘physically-involved’ in any crime prevention however – so there will be no exterminations, nor any sucky plungering (technical terminology).
From Blade Runner to Robocop and more recently Chappie, sci-fi TV movies, TV shows and books throughout history have predicted a future which includes AI law-enforcement, throw in a hint of George Orwell’s 1984 and it seems the time is nearing for the rise of the robot bobby.
For full details on this incredible and innovative project and a good look at the technology that’s gone into the K5 check out www.knightscope.com.