Dubai Police Department announced that the city’s first robot police officer, named Robocop, will join their team starting July. According to them, Robocop is the world’s first working robot cop. While the robots will not substitute human beings, they are intended to assist human police officers secure a safer environment for both locals and tourists walking around malls and tourist attractions.
Unveiled on May 24 at the Gulf Information Security Expo and Conference, Robocop stands at 1.7 meters (5.6 feet), weighs 100 kilograms (220.5 pounds), and comes with a touchscreen on its chest for people to report crimes or pay fines for traffic violations. While a Spanish robotics company, PAL Robotics, designed Robocop as a customized Reem model, Google and IBM’s Watson supplied Robocop’s AI functionality, which includes facial recognition features to identify criminals as well as human emotions. Robocop can currently communicate in both Arabic and English, however there are plans to add Russian, Chinese, French, and Spanish to its system.
The Dubai government revealed that it plans to have robot cops occupy 25% of the Emirate’s police force without replacing any human cops by 2030. “With the number of people in Dubai increasing, we want to relocate police officers so they work in the right areas and can concentrate on providing a safe city,” says Brig Khalid Al Razooqi, Director General of smart services at Dubai Police.
This is not the first time that robots have been deployed with the intention of serving rather than replacing humans. Last year, pizza giant Domino’s announced the launch of Domino’s Pizza Delivery Robot. With Domino’s Pizza’s plans to expand over the next five to 10 years, the company found that it would not have enough human delivery drivers. Domino’s Robotic Unit (DRU) first launched as a pilot in Australia, and a year later was tested in a number of Dutch and German cities.