Anyone with visions of a dystopian society overrun by maniacal homicidal robots should probably stop reading now. Robophobics may also prefer to put the kettle on rather than read any further.
The world’s first police officer robot has begun to pound a beat in Dubai and it is only the first of many. The emirate is aiming for 25% of its police force to be ‘robotic’ by 2030.
The ‘Dubai Police Robot’, no cute pet names here, was officially introduced at a recent expo and will shortly begin its duties as a mall cop at shopping centres and tourist attractions.
It will soon be joined by other robots which will be used to tackle crime and apprehend suspects. Future recruits will include the world’s biggest robot and self-driving police motorcycles and patrol cars.
Tough on crime – in multiple languages
The first Robocop is able to communicate in both Arabic and English, though it will soon add Russian and Chinese to its languages. It will be primarily used as a conduit for people to report crime or pay fines.
But will also operate as a kind of mobile CCTV unit with its built-in cameras live-streaming video back to a command centre.
Brig Khalid Al Razooqi, the director general of smart services at the Dubai Police, said: “Now most people visit police stations or customer service, but with this tool we can reach the public 24/7 and it won’t ask for any sick leave or maternity leave.
“It has a smart intelligent system so it can protect people from crime, because it can broadcast what is happening right away to our command and control centre. We are also working on facial-recognition systems.”
Robocop – the future
The first Robocop may not be the all-action metallic hero we imagine from sci fi movies but it is only the first generation. Its future colleagues in the robot police are going to be far more badass.
Within two years it is planned to introduce a three metre high robot, which will be the biggest in the world, and capable of running at 80kph. A human police officer will be seated inside the beast as it hunts down miscreants.
Other robots and driverless vehicles will be used for traffic control and issuing fines for dangerous driving and parking violations. They will also be used to gather real-time data for transport authorities to help prevent traffic problems.
Will the robots be taking over?
No. Not in the near future anyway.
The Dubai police say the robots will take some of weight off the shoulders of human officers who will be able to concentrate on tackling crime.
Brig Khalid Al Razooqi said: “We are not going to fire our police officers by replacing them with this tool but with the number of people in Dubai increasing, we want to relocate police officers so they work in the right areas and can concentrate on providing a safe city.”