A friendly robotic cop is now maintaining law and order in Dubai

robocop dubai 1
Dubai Media Office
Robocop (no, not that one) is now stomping through the streets of Dubai, safeguarding its citizens and upholding law and order in the United Arab Emirates’ most famous city.

The robotic officer went on duty on Tuesday and could be the first of many to start work for the Dubai Police Force.

Shown off this week at the Gulf Information Security and Expo Conference, the new employee is identifiable as a cop thanks mainly to the police hat perched on its head. It stands at a not-too-imposing 1.5-meters, weighs 220 pounds (100 kg), and features a touchscreen display on its torso that can be used to report crimes and even pay fines for things such as traffic violations.

The crime-busting android moves around on wheels, can speak six languages, and has the ability to detect a person’s emotions and facial expressions, and respond accordingly, local media reported. That sounds very similar to SoftBank’s Pepper robot, but the newest addition to Dubai’s police unit is actually the work of Spain-based PAL Robotics with a number of skills added by Google and also IBM with its Watson AI system.

PAL Robotics describes its creation as a “full-size humanoid service robot” that can navigate autonomously or be piloted remotely. It can function for eight hours on a single charge and is capable of a battery “hot-swap,” meaning that if it’s chasing after a suspect toward the end of a shift, its battery can be changed mid-chase without having to waste time powering down.

Commenting on its latest recruit, a spokesman for Dubai Police said, “With an aim to assist and help people in the malls or on the streets, the Robocop is the latest smart addition to the force and has been designed to help us fight crime, keep the city safe, and improve happiness levels.”

While we can’t imagine Robocop in its current form sorting out a bar brawl, solving a complex fraud case, or rescuing a cat from a tree, it may well prove effective for receiving crime reports, giving directions, and — thanks to that hat — presenting an air of authority wherever it goes. And as the technology develops it’ll be in a position to take on an increasing number of responsibilities.

If the law-enforcing robot proves successful, Dubai wants to use more of them to make up 25 percent of its police personnel by 2030. It even has plans to build the world’s first “smart police station” containing zero human employees. In a city very much known for its outlandish projects, who’s to say they can’t achieve it.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: camera with A.I. director, robot arm assistant

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!

Is Uber planning to put its self-driving tech into bikes and scooters?

Uber reportedly has its eye on building autonomous electric bikes and scooters that ride to a user when summoned by an app. The technology could also be used to make its two-wheelers safer with obstacle avoidance systems.

This list of PlayStation 4 exclusives puts its competitors to shame

The PlayStation 4's game library and incredible selection of exclusive games could make anyone with an Xbox One or Nintendo Switch think twice. Here's our list of the latest and greatest PS4 exclusives.
Emerging Tech

A Japanese hotel fires half its robot staff for being bad at their jobs

Japan’s oddball Henn na Hotel has fired half of its 243 robot staff. The reason? Because these labor-saving machines turned out to be causing way more problems than they were solving.
Emerging Tech

Tiny microbots fold like origami to travel through the human body

Tiny robots modeled after bacteria could be used to deliver drugs to hard to reach areas of the human body. Scientists have developed elastic microbots that can change their shape depending on their environment.
Emerging Tech

Dinosaurs never stood a chance after asteroid impacts doubled 290M years ago

The number of asteroids pummeling Earth jumped dramatically around 290 million years ago. By looking at Moon craters, scientists discovered that d the number of asteroid impacts on both Earth and the Moon increased by two to three times.
Emerging Tech

Saturn didn’t always have rings, according to new analysis of Cassini data

Saturn's rings are younger than previously believed, according to new data gathered from the Cassini mission. The rings are certainly less than 100 million years old and perhaps as young as 10 million years old.
Emerging Tech

Water-based fuel cell converts carbon emissions to electricity

Scientists from Korea's Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology have developed a system which can continuously produce electrical energy and hydrogen by dissolving carbon dioxide in an aqueous solution.
Emerging Tech

Scientists investigate how massive stars die in dramatic hypernova events

Our Sun will gradually fade before expanding into a red giant at the end of its life. But larger mass stars undergo extreme explosive events called hypernovas when they die which outshine their entire galaxies.
Emerging Tech

Pilotless planes are on their way, but would you fly in one?

Airbus says advancements in artificial intelligence can help it toward its goal of building a plane capable of fully autonomous flight, though whether passengers can be persuaded to travel in one is another matter entirely.
Emerging Tech

‘Tech vest’ prevents Amazon workers from colliding with robot co-workers

Amazon workers at its fulfillment centers are using "tech vests" to help protect them from collisions with their robot co-workers. The robots already have obstacle avoidance sensors, but the belt offers another layer of safety.
Emerging Tech

3D printers are finally affordable. Here are the best models under $500

3D printer prices have dropped dramatically over the past few years, but just because something is cheap doesn’t mean it’s worth buying. Here, we’ve rounded up all the cheap 3D printers that are actually worth spending your money on.

T-Mobile 5G rollout: Here is everything you need to know

2019 will be a huge year for T-Mobile. Not only is a merger with Sprint likely, but T-Mobile is also in the midst of building out its next-generation mobile service. Here's everything you need to know about the T-Mobile 5G rollout.
Emerging Tech

ANYmal dog robot can get back on its feet when someone pushes it over

Roboticists at ETH Zurich have demonstrated how their ANYmal four-legged robot is capable of taking a kicking and keeping on walking -- or getting back to its feet if it's pushed over.