Real-life “Robocop”: Dubai to get robot police force by 2017

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – Dubai once again proved that it is one of the world’s leaders when it comes to innovation, as its street will soon be patrolled by a robotic police force. During the Gulf Information Technology Exhibition (GITEX), an annual consumer computer and electronics trade show taking place at the Dubai World Centre this week, a prototype of the robot was unveiled to the trade visitors. The robot, which seems to be a real-life RoboCop, was seen in action at a booth during the GITEX as it salutes and shakes the hands of the visitors. An article by Gulf Business said the robot police officer is capable of scanning faces and is equipped with an innovative touchscreen on its body.

The touchscreen is available for use of the members of the public to report crime and pay traffic fines. Dubai Police’s Technical Innovations Department Head Major Adnan Ali said the robot would be patrolling tourist areas by next year. “Spot people from 10 meters or 20 meters away, approach them and greet them,” Adnan said explaining the function of the police robot. “We’re expecting for it to be in tourist areas at first in 2017, near Burj Khalifa, GPR, City Walk and by 2020 we want to have a more thorough area covered,” Adnan added as quoted by Hannah Al-Othman in her article for Mail Online. According to officials, the earlier prototypes of the robot was made with the intent of offering assistance to tourists on the streets and in shopping malls in Dubai. Dubai Police, IBM’s supercomputer, Watson, and Google are now all working together in order to provide a more effective virtual assistant system to the robot prototype, making the virtual police officers capable of following voice commands. Police officials have also revealed that the police robots could be equipped with a microphone, which feeds directly to the Dubai Police call centers.
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