Meet Knightscope K5, Your New Worst Enemy

Mike Paczesny | The Rundown Live

A company in California has developed a mobile robot, known as the K5 Autonomous Data Machine, as a security tool for for schools and neighborhoods and private corporations. ddd

The bot is 5 feet tall, weighs 300 pounds and looks a lot like R2-D2 and according to a NYTimes report, will work for $6.25 an hour.

The robot is still a work in progress. The system will have a video camera, thermal imaging sensors, a laser range finder, radar, air quality sensors and a microphone. It will also have a limited amount of autonomy, such as the ability to follow a preplanned route. It will not, at least for now, include advanced features like facial recognition.

This tends to raise questions about mass surveillance, with the expansion of programs like the “Mesh Network” on city streets and elsewhere.

The Knightscope founders are believers in crime prediction, or “precog” literally mentioning the movie, “Minority Report.

We don’t want to think about ‘RoboCop’ or ‘Terminator,’ we prefer to think of a mash up ‘Batman,’ ‘Minority Report’ and R2-D2.

The K5 is the work of Mr. Li, a former Ford Motor Company executive, and Stacy Dean Stephens, a former police officer in Texas.

Mr. Li envisions a world of K5 security bots patrolling schools and communities, in what would amount to a 21st-century version of a neighborhood watch. The all-seeing mobile robots will be wireless connected to a centralized data server, where they will have access to “big data,” making it possible to recognize faces, license plates and other suspicious anomalies.

For the moment, the system remains unarmed.





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