We have seen a rise in the use of robots in service industry jobs. We wrote about the first robotic hotel concierge in Sweden, and in Japan we covered a robotic airport assistant to point travellers in the right direction. Now, the United Arab Emirates police department has taken the technology further as it dispatches real robotic police officers to crowded,but generally safe public spaces such as malls.
The robots have a touchscreen on their body,and a microphone connected to the Dubai Police call centers that civilians can use to report crimes and pay fines for traffic violations.
They can salute and shake hands,but perhaps more eerily, the devices also feature face scanning technology. Colonel Khalid Nasser Alrazooqi, who heads the city’s ‘smart’ unit explained, “We are aiming to provide these kinds of services as the population is expanding. This way we can provide better services without hiring more people.”
With plans to introduce interactive patrolling bots by 2017 and a force in which officers already use Google Glass, the UAE have projected themselves as a world leader in technology. Should other states be competing?