May 26, 2017 I MJ Banias

Robot Cop Walks the Beat in Dubai

Using the latest in robotics technology, the city of Dubai has officially put a robotic police officer into active duty to serve and protect.

What could possibly go wrong?

Presented at the Gulf Information Security and Expo Conference last week, the bot has officially begun his duties walking the beat on the mean streets of Dubai. Rolling around on wheels, the 1.7 meter tall robot can identify gestures and hand signals from 1.5 meters away. Armed with the latest in facial recognition software, AI, emotion detector, and other smart technologies, the 'robocop' can interact with people, deal with various emotional states, deal with crime reports, and give directions. It can also bow, shake hands, salute, and speak six languages including Arabic and English.

According to Brigadier-General Khalid Nasser Al Razzouqi, a director with the Dubai Police,

With an aim to assist and help people in the malls or on the streets, the Robocop is the latest smart addition to the force and has been designed to help us fight crime, keep the city safe and improve happiness levels.

The robot also has a built in touch screen tablet in his chest. People can make payments for certain public services, report crimes, look at maps, and type in other simple search queries.

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Image: Newsweek

The Dubai police force was quite clear that this robot was not designed to replace human officers. Its function will not be to deal with active crimes, but instead deal with the public on simple tasks, such as providing directions or expediting the police report process. However, due to its integrated HD cameras and facial recognition, it may be used to help identify offenders or broadcast images of criminals using a live video feed.

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Image: Dubai Police

Al Razzouqi concludes,

The launch of the world's first operational Robocop is a significant milestone for the emirate and a step towards realising Dubai's vision to be a global leader in smart cities technology adoption.

He also hinted that the plan for the police force is to replace a quarter of its active officers with these robots by 2030. Is this just another step towards the robot apocalypse? Probably.


(Featured image courtesy of Dubai Police)

MJ Banias

MJ Banias is the author of “The UFO People: A Curious Culture” and curates the popular Fortean blog “Terra Obscura" and YouTube channel. He has appeared on multiple radio shows and podcasts including Coast to Coast AM, and his work has appeared in Fortean Times Magazine, FATE Magazine and in the book, “UFOs: Reframing the Debate."

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