Robocop on the beat
During a three-day Information Security and Expo Conference, Dubai Police unveiled the world’s first operational police robot. The humanoid robot, designed by Pal Robotics has been added to the police force to patrol the major tourist attractions and large shopping centres in Dubai, with the aim to improve security and increase happiness in the UAE city. This is a bold statement shown by the wealthy city, highlighting its vision of becoming a global leader in smart technology adoption.
The 5ft 5in tall robot officer named ‘’Robocop’’ has already been deployed on the main streets of Dubai, following the exciting announcement at the conference. With a touchscreen tablet device built into its torso, the public will be able to obtain information, pay fines, submit paperwork and report crimes through Robocop.
Although the majority of people will still visit police stations to report a crime, Robocop will be on hand to report any crimes directly to the police at all hours of the day. Powered through an 8-hour battery life, the friendly robot will be able to send messages to and from the police headquarters, enhancing the security level in the city.
In addition to this, it will be a friendly addition to society with its ability to interact, understand facial expressions and respond accordingly, as well as shake hands and salute. For the time being, the robot is only able to communicate in English and Arabic but Pal Robotics are already looking to add Spanish, Chinese, Russian and French to the model to reach its potential. As Dubai is one of the most visited cities in the world with around 4.6 million visitors in the Q1 2017 alone, increasing the robot’s language ability would be a huge benefit for residents and tourists alike.
The Government has affirmed that the objective was for 25% of the police force to be robotic by 2030, with a smart police station which will only be operated by robots. Whilst the smart technology will not be utilised as human replacements, they will act as additional tools to operate in public spaces and tourist areas. A second robot is hoped to join Robocop on its patrol as early as next year, depending on the funding available.
Although Robocop will certainly not be chasing down criminals any time soon, it is a leap forward for Dubai who without doubt, are at the forefront of smart city technology adoption. Will other countries respond in a similar way by integrating cutting-edge technology to their own workforce?
Image: ©Dubai Media Office