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Don’t look now, but video surveillance is hot. It was inevitable. The willing surrender of privacy and the fear of bad actors make a potent combination. Earlier this month, police in Dubai enlisted a new recruit. By the end of the year, a diminutive self-driving car will begin patrolling city streets. The robotic rig will feature cutting-edge video gear, networked facial-recognition software and an aerial drone, in case undesirables go off-road. Boosted by emerging technologies, video surveillance has become a service. And it is about to explode.
It’s not exactly RoboCop. But it is a robot security guard – and it could be patrolling office floors within 10 years, according to G4S, the world’s biggest security company. These automated watchmen, which have already been trialled, are the latest examples of the growing trend for companies to use robots alongside humans – in […]
In Kinsasha – capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo – two eight-foot-tall robots have been installed in order to direct traffic. As you can see above, the machines look more than a little absurd – like something straight out of a 1960s science fiction film. They aren’t exactly intelligent, either. They just tell cars where to go. And apparently, they do a better job of it than the human operators ever did – apparently, people just tend to listen to them more readily. It may have something to do with the fact that each of the two robots is equipped with an array of security cameras to record ne’erdowells. They’re basically highly visible speed cameras. At this point, you’re probably scoffing a bit. After all, this has nothing to do with robotics, right? Those two machines are basically glorified, highly-visible speed cameras. Of course people behave around them! Why wouldn’t they? Not only that, they’re something like eight feet tall. I don’t know about you, but if a machine that size directed me to do something, I’d more than likely comply – even if I did realize on some level that it was merely an inanimate object. Ultimately, it appears as though the deference people give these simple traffic bots tells us very little about how robots and humans relate to one another. Uh, yeah. Turns out, it isn’t actually that simple. According to scientists in the field of robot-human interaction, the human brain is wired in […]
300 Pound R2 D2 like Robot is New Breed of Crime Fighting Machine The 300 pound R5 Autonomous Data Machine looks like a hybrid of R2-D2 and the robot from Lost in Space. Photo: Knightscope A Californian company, Knightscope , has developed a Robocop-on-wheels, which bears a striking resemblance to the Star Wars’ R2-D2. The mobile robot, known as the K5 Autonomous Data Machine, was created in the wake of Sandy Hook school shooting and has a mission to “cut crime by 50 per cent” “We founded Knightscope after what happened … you are never going to have an armed officer in every school,” said William Santana Li, a co-founder of the company. The K5 Autonomous Data Machine is intended “to augment private security services on corporate campuses and in large, vacant buildings and warehouses,” according to its developer, Knightscope, which added, “Tedious and monotonous monitoring should be handled by the K5, leaving ‘hands-on’ activities to security personnel.” The K5′s weapons to fight crime and deter criminals are a “video camera, thermal imaging sensors, a laser range finder, radar, air quality sensors and a microphone.” All these are intended to alert you should it find anything out-of-the-ordinary as it patrols a “pre-planned route”. Mr. Li envisions the K5 to have wireless access to a data server where it could recognise faces and license plates to identify crooks in the act. He even goes one-step further into Hollywood fantasy by expressing a desire to employ “precog” – a crime-prediction process […]