“Your move, creeps,” is probably what police officials in Dubai are saying after unveiling the world’s very first robot police officer.
As the BBC is reporting, the Arab city has taken yet another step toward being the most futuristic city in the world (in the strangest ways), by adding an autonomous mechanical police officer to its law enforcement ranks. The friendly looking robot will patrol the malls and popular attractions around Dubai to provide people with a point of contact for reporting crime, getting information, and even paying fines via a touchscreen in its chest. While it does not have a trusty Auto 9 hidden in a pop-out compartment in its thigh, the robot can prevent crime by broadcasting what it sees directly to the nearest police station, according to a representative from the Dubai Police. At launch, the robot will be able to speak in English and Arabic, but there are plans to have it speak other languages—presumably so that it can say “Dead or alive, you’re coming with me,” in Russian or French as well.
The robot cop (for clarification, it is not a “robocop,” as it does not contain any unreliable biological components, or former human memories that might send it inconveniently spiraling into an existential quest of cyborg self-discovery) is a version of the full-size REEM robot built by Pal Robotics. Similar ones have been put into service as customer service agents and informational guides at places ranging from airports to museums. But this will be the model’s first foray into law enforcement.
The Dubai Police said that they have no intention of replacing their traditional meat police, but would like to have a quarter of their force be made up of robots by 2030. Detroit had better step up its game.