Dubai has put two real-life Robocops into action and this is the first in a wave of AI-fueled machines that will patrol cities around the world, provide blanket surveillance and facial recognition software.
The humanoid robotic cop that is already in active service in Dubai is actually the least intimidating of the two. It can speak six languages and recognize facial expressions.It can also run you through a computer to see if you’re wanted.
The humanoid robot is kinda weak
It also comes with a touchscreen for a chest. That means you can deal with parking tickets and also report a crime, but there’s a traditional input system that should put people at ease. In reality, this one is little more than an information point that moves.
The O-R3, though, is a different proposition. The security robot is actually a self-driving car, the size of a child’s buggy, which patrols the streets and runs everyone’s face through a central computer. Wanted criminals can then look forward to a low-speed chase as it only goes about 9mph.
If you jump a fence, or run, the cute-looking buggy that looks like the star of the next Cars instalment has a drone in its rump that can take over as an eye in the sky. It, too, is fitted with autonomous hardware and it will track the criminal through the streets until a streamlined police force can make the arrest.
“Our aim is to raise the number of robots to 25 percent of the police force by 2030,” said Brigadier Khaled al-Razzooqi, head of Smart Services at Dubai police.
Total robot surveillance is on the way
With the current war on terror, we’re going to greet this total surveillance with open arms and it won’t be long before every major city has a platoon of robot cops that link into increasingly sophisticated artificial intelligence feedback loops.
In essence, the robots will learn to be better than the police they’ll replace, and the technology itself means we should soon have seriously advanced robots that are physically superior and can go anywhere we can.
In the end, there will be some kind of debate on arming the robot cops. But that’s in the future.
Right now, Knightscope K5 has an R2-D2 type of robot that patrols malls, businesses and Silicon Valley.
For now, just be aware that Robocop really is coming to a city near you and total surveillance is just around the corner.