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Uh oh, robotic cops are now a reality

A company in Silicon Valley has developed a line of droids that are capable of automated patrolling, 360 video, thermal imaging and two-way audio. Yikes.

They’re currently suited for surveillance at shopping malls, warehouses and office buildings, and in case you’re wondering, two way audio means these robots can hear you and can talk back. Yep, seems like the robocalypse is closer than we thought.

Thanks to an American startup, robotic cops are now a reality by Benjamin Pineros

With an appearance closer to Doctor Who’s Daleks than Frank Miller’s Robocop, the range of K bots is part of an array of high-tech security solutions offered by California-based startup Kightscope.

According to their official site, the company was founded in 2013 as a response to the tragic events at Sandy Hook Elementary School and the Boston Marathon. They currently offer a combination of software and hardware tools that provide “smart eyes and ears” to their human security counterparts.

The company’s intention is not to render human security guards obsolete, but to augment their capabilities against criminal activity. These robots are equipped with 360-degree, high definition, low-light infrared cameras that constantly upload what they see to a back-end security network. They also have an audio event detection system capable of picking out unusual sounds and movements.

Thanks to an American startup, robotic cops are now a reality by Benjamin Pineros

The integrated security network the company has developed is able to monitor and report suspicious activity happening in public places in real time. They are working on new software that can allow these robots to spot guns among a crowd and even predict criminal scenarios based on data collected.

Knightscope says technology is advancing so rapidly, that if they sold these bots they would be outdated very rapidly. Their innovative business model consists in renting each unit for $6.25 per hour (less than minimum wage).

The company can’t name names, but told TechCrunch their robots are currently being used at various tech companies in Silicon Valley and their K5 model is currently being used by a mall in the area.


About the author

Filmmaker. 3D artist. Procrastination guru. I spend most of my time doing VFX work for my upcoming film Servicios Públicos, a sci-fi dystopia about robots, overpopulated cities and tyrant states. @iampineros

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