If you happen to find yourself in Dubai one of these days, you might be approached by a 5 ft 5 in police officer if you wish to report a crime. This may sound quite normal, except the fact that you know exactly how tall the officer is.
The reason we can tell you the height is that so far that is the only model of robot police officers allowed on the streets of Dubai. Such officers, which will not fall ill or ask for a maternity leave, will make up one quarter of the whole patrolling force by 2030 if a plan submitted by Dubai Police is implemented.
What can they do?
While patrolling the streets, the officers can scan faces from 20 meters away and identify wanted criminals. In addition, they have a touchscreen on the chest that members of the public can use to report crimes. If that is not enough, there’s also a microphone, which feeds directly to the Dubai Police call centers.
All these features mean that the police headquarters receive immediate alert in case the robot’s camera recognizes a face or a license plate on a stolen vehicle. The camera is also useful when it comes to identifying risks, such as an unattended piece of baggage.
Though some people were apprehensive about how ready people would be to use the touchscreen computer embedded in the chest of a robot, the feedback so far has been quite positive. The new generations are so used to smart devices, that they see nothing unusual about modern robocops.
Another reason why people seem to trust the new police officers is that the robots are actually painted in the colors of the Dubai Police uniform. Also, they can shake hands and perform a military salute, making them a real attraction in one of the most progressive cities in the world.
The Robocop was unveiled at a three-day long Gulf Information Security and Expo Conference and the launch of the world’s first operational Robocop was a significant milestone for the Emirate and a step towards realizing Dubai’s vision to be a global leader in smart cities technology adoption, according to Brigadier-General Khalid Nasser Al Razzouqi, the Director General of Smart Services for the Dubai Police. He added that the aim of the project was to assist and help people in the malls or one the streets, thus keeping the city safe and improving happiness levels.
He concluded by saying that their ultimate goal is to make everything smart in Dubai Police and that they were going to achieve it by implementing many smart police mechanisms, such as the smart police station and robots, and adopting artificial intelligence. It is expected that when the number of robocops in the force reaches 25% in 2030 there will also be the first smart police station, which won’t require any human employees.
It is difficult to pinpoint the exact direction in which the introduction of artificial intelligence in law enforcement will develop, but we can certainly expect that it will try to penetrate every possible aspect. How successful it will be remains to be seen, but we can undoubtedly prepare for years and years of testing, pilot-programs and projects that we have so far only seen in Sci-Fi movies.
One of the features yet to be introduced is gun and bomb detection, which will be used against terrorist threats and robocops will most certainly be one of the key weapons in the fight against terrorism. Being one step ahead of those who are planning to endanger people’s lives is of utmost importance and modern technology surely has a huge role to play in the process.
Just like we use state-of-the-art technology and latest inventions in almost every field of our life, they are bound to become even more prominent in law enforcement. The introduction of the first Robocop in Dubai is an important milestone that will one day be looked at as the beginning of a new era in the fight against crime, not only in the Emirates, but in the whole world.
It is still somewhat unclear what we might expect from this and similar breakthroughs in the future, but the sooner we accept they are here to stay in some capacity and help us out, the better and safer our lives will be.