We’re slowly introducing robots into every area of our lives, be they humanoid-looking or not, so it was just a matter of time until they would find a way in the police force.
A non-profit research institute has developed a prototype robot that aims to keep the police officers safe when they proceed with a traffic stop. The machine has been dubbed simply the ‘Police Robot’ and it allows the officers to interact with the drivers they pulled over without getting close to them. The robot even deploys spikes that prevent the driver from getting away in their car.
“Every year 16,915,140 drivers are pulled-over in traffic, 195,078 motorists have physical force used on them, 4,488 officers are assaulted, 89 of those motorists die, and 11 of those officers die,” the introduction video for the Police Robot states, in the voice of Ruben Brewer, Senior Robotics Research Engineers at SRI’s International Applied Technologies and Science Department.
To avoid any risk of injury or death, the officers can operate the robot from inside their own car. Via the robot’s cameras, they can see the driver’s face and check their identification and also, if needed, issue a traffic ticket via the small printer attached to the machine.
A future prototype will also have stowing at the front of the car and access to both the driver and passenger windows. For now, the robot is still a work in progress which, Brewer stated, has initially been started in a garage and has been continued at SRI International.
“It’s only part of the solution,” Brewer said “but I hope one day it could save lives.”