Dubai, United Arab Emirates – The affluent Middle Eastern city of Dubai has unveiled its first robot police officer and has announced plans for tiny, automated police cars that will soon patrol the streets (video below.)
The self-driving miniature police cars will be about waist high and will be able to use surveillance technology to do scans for possible suspects, can even give chase and is equipped with a drone it can release, according to The Daily Telegraph.
They are expected to be in place by the end of the year. Dubai police told the British newspaper they hope to have robot police make up a quarter of its force by 2030.
Earlier in June, Dubai police employed its first robot police officer. That officer robot is about 5-foot-7 and weighs 220 pounds. It will be deployed in tourist destinations and has a camera that transmits live images to the police’s headquarters. The newspaper said the robot can be used to identify suspects.
There is no report if the robot has actually accomplished anything yet.
The police robot will have a touchscreen on its chest which will allow people to report crimes or pay fines.
Newsweek reported that the police robots will have facial recognition abilities to identify criminals and will also be able to detect a person’s emotions.
“Dubai Police are keen to get the latest technology to fight crime. We always search for the best technology to serve our police work for a safer and smarter city. We seek to augment operations with the help of technology such as robots. We aim for streets to be safe and peaceful even without heavy police patrol,” Maj-Gen Al Merri, commander-in-chief of Dubai Police, said in Gulf News.
"Robots and autonomous machines are shaping and redefining our future and transforming the way we function," Trixie LohMirmand, a senior vice president at Dubai World Trade Center, told Newsweek.
“Technological advancements are enabling robots to talk, see, feel and react to objects and humans. The age of the robots is no longer coming—it has arrived.”
In May, Dubai also announced it would launch a fleet of flying taxis, or one-seater passenger drones, according to CNN.
You can see a video of some of these new robots in action below: