The Bob Pritchard Column
A robotic policeman which can help identify wanted criminals and collect evidence has joined Dubai's police force and will patrol busy areas in the city, as part of a government program aimed at replacing some human crime-fighters with machines. Dubai Police wants the unarmed robots to make up 25 percent of its patrolling force in the near future.
Clad in the colors of the Dubai Police uniform, the life-size robot, which can shake hands and perform a military salute, is part of a plan to use technology to improve services and security ahead of Dubai hosting Expo 2020. These robots can work 24/7. They don’t require leave, sick leave or maternity leave. They can work around the clock,
The first automated policeman in the Middle East, the robot on wheels is equipped with cameras and facial recognition software. It can compare faces with a police database and flag matches to headquarters. It can read vehicle license plates and its video feed can help police watch for risks such as unattended bags in popular areas of Dubai, a financial and tourism hub.
Members of the public can also talk to the robot to report a crime or communicate with it using a touch screen computer embedded in its chest. Most people are not nervous about talking to a robot and some prefer it. New generations who are using smart devices love to use these kind of modern tools.