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article imageDubai to put 'robocops' on the streets in two years

By Stephen Morgan     May 9, 2015 in Lifestyle
Science fiction and Hollywood fantasy films seem to be turning into reality at a dazzling speed. As we enter the "robotic era" of drones and self-driving cars, our well-being could soon be protected by armies of police androids, as we're seeing in Dubai.
These days, life looks more and more like some futuristic TV series. Now that's been taken another step closer by the announcement of authorities in the United Arab Emirates, that they will soon introduce "robocops" onto their streets.
The android police force will be deployed in the next two years, and the initial batch will be made up of interactive robots, which will cruise shopping malls and other public places.
People will be able to speak to the robots through microphones and interactive screens, which will be constantly connected to police call centers.
But don't fear, these androids wont be automated killing-machines with arms that act as rotating machine guns.
They are designed to protect people and help the human police catch criminals or alert them to problems of public safety through interaction with the public.
RT quotes Colonel Khalid Nasser Alrazooqi, who leads the police's “smart” unit, who said
"The robots will interact directly with people and tourists.... People will be able to ask questions and make complaints, but they will also have fun interacting with the robots” – no doubt, as they look a lot like one of Dr Who's daleks.
Basically, the first batch will be motorized police information terminals and emergency services. Nevertheless, in four to five years, the Dubai authorities are aiming to replace them with "fully intelligent robocops that will interact with people with no human intervention at all," according to the website of Security Sales and Integration.
Alrazooqi said that "this is still under research and development, but we are planning on it.”
RT says that several companies are working on such projects.
The California company, Knightscope K5 Autonomous Data Machines – which is reported to be in contact with security services in Dubai – says it has already deployed "intelligent bots" inside the properties of several private companies in the San Francisco and Silicon Valley areas.
Its robots can detect unusual behavior and sense surrounding conditions through odor and heat detectors. Moreover, the robocop is able to monitor traffic and remember up to 300 number plates a minute.
The robocop can listen for suspicious sounds, such as breaking glass and, if it senses an intruder, it will circle and video the person. If the robot is attacked it sets off a piercing noise worse than a car alarm.
These android security guards are not so far part of the US police force, but are only used in surveillance of private properties.
Authorities in the UAE have already equipped their police force with Google Glass, which is a spectacle-like, wearable technology with an optical head-mounted display that can be controlled by a side touch bar command, and also allows wearers to communicate with the internet using voice commands.
Super-rich Dubai isn't shy about investing in its law enforcement. The Daily Mail reported two years ago that, in order to catch speeding drivers, it bought the police department a $260,000 McLaren MP4-12C, as an addition to the police's existing fleet of Lamborghinis, Aston Martins, and Ferraris.
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