Image from Government of Dubai press release
UAE’s first Robocop joined Dubai Police on Sunday, May 21. The robotic cop’s first job posting will be at malls and tourist attractions, where people can tap a touchscreen on his chest to report a crime, pay traffic fines or chat in Arabic or English. Versions of the Robocop will eventually be used to chase down suspects and nab parking fee dodgers.
The robot’s built-in cameras will stream live video to the police command centre. There is ongoing work on incorporating facial-recognition systems. Police data from the robot will be shared with the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) to predict traffic bottlenecks and aid in traffic management.
Languages such as Russian, Chinese, French and Spanish will be added to Robocop’s vocabulary.
Robocop could have a companion next year depending on budget allocations.
The next batch of robots will be used to tackle crime and misdemeanours. There are plans over the next two years for the world’s largest robot, which would run at 80 kmph. The 3-metre tall robot will be manoeuvred by a police officer seated in a cabin inside and will carry heavy equipment.
An egg-shaped robot will be used in parking areas to issue warning about traffic violations. In addition, there are plans for driverless patrol cars that could issue alerts and tickets for dangerous driving, pending laws regulating the use of driverless vehicles. The concept of self-driving motorcycles is also being explored.
The press release states that the aim is have 25 per cent of Dubai’s police force to be robotic by 2030.
Brig Khalid Al Razooqi, Dubai Police director general of smart services said, "Now most people visit police stations or customer service, but with this tool we can reach the public 24/7 and it won’t ask for any sick leave or maternity leave."
Brig Al Razooqi went on to clarify that the Robocop will not be replacing police officers but it will help in reassigning police officers to the right areas, so that they can concentrate on crime prevention and making the city safe.