A Palo Alto-based technology start-up called Knightscope has developed a crime-fighting robot called “K5” that is already fighting crime in Silicon Valley. The fleet of crime-fighting robots comes equipped with 360-degree high-definition and low-light infrared cameras and built-in microphone to communicate and issue warnings to errant people. The K5 crime-fighting robots, according to this TechCrunch report, are a bit Orwellian. K5 has sophisticated monitoring and broadcasting capabilities and they can carry out surveillance activities at public spaces, halls and corridors and at places where it is not normally possible for the police to reach.
Here is the video of the crime-fighting K5 robots on active duty.
The crime-fighting robot cops are connected to a backend security network where they can constantly upload the information they are gathering using the high definition camera and the built-in microphone. Different sound profiles can be processed such as breaking of glass, smashing of windshields, people shouting, etc.
The crime-fighting robots aren’t just in an experimental stage. They are already being used in malls and office buildings. Even some tech companies are using the T5 crime-fighting robots to monitor suspicious activities on the premises.
So are these crime-fighting robots soon going to replace human security guards and beat constables? Not necessarily. But they can certainly act as assistants to human security and police personnel. They can easily move around, capture and process information and verbally react in case people try to kick them or push them onto the ground.
Most of the crimes are committed because the persons committing the crime think that they are not being observed. These moving robots can act as deterrence. A good thing about these robots is that they can get a 360-degree view and they can also move around. Unlike security cameras installed at various places, these crime-fighting robots are not tied to a single location. Since they can process sounds and act accordingly, they can also immediately set off alarms and send distress signals in case there is a break-in.
The robots right now can be hired for $6.25 per hour, which is a lot less than the minimum wage in America. Even if these robots can replace 20% of the security and surveillance workforce a lot of money can be saved.