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Robotics Security

R2-D2: Mall Cop 139

theodp writes "'The night watchman of the future,' explains the NY Times' John Markoff, 'is 5 feet tall, weighs 300 pounds and looks a lot like R2-D2 – without the whimsy. And will work for $6.25 an hour.' California-based Knightscope has developed a mobile robot known as the K5 Autonomous Data Machine as a safety and security tool for corporations, as well as for schools and neighborhoods. 'But what is for some a technology-laden route to safer communities and schools,' writes Markoff, 'is to others an entry point to a post-Orwellian, post-privacy world.'"
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R2-D2: Mall Cop

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  • by Chrisq ( 894406 ) on Monday December 02, 2013 @09:58AM (#45573833)
    I'm sure its nothing that a can of spray-paint and some bubble-gum can't deal with
  • by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) on Monday December 02, 2013 @10:15AM (#45573945)

    Yes, because people have a right to privacy while breaking into a warehouse. Why is this news anyway? Security robots have been around for more than a decade, and this one doesn't seem to have any sensors or capabilities that are new or different. Even the "rent-by-the-hour" option is not new. It seems overpriced for something that is basically just a wifi camera with wheels.

  • Easy solution (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Rosco P. Coltrane ( 209368 ) on Monday December 02, 2013 @10:18AM (#45573955)

    Don't patronize malls. Go to your local stores instead - and support them before they get swallowed up by giant faceless, evil retail chains.

    Shopping malls are already dehumanized temples of consumerism, even without the robots. Those who know what social interaction is avoid these places like the plague anyway...

  • by Amtrak ( 2430376 ) on Monday December 02, 2013 @10:52AM (#45574165)

    “We founded Knightscope after what happened at Sandy Hook,” said William Santana Li

    Seriously! How is an unarmed rolling video camera going to stop some idiot with a gun. Most of the time these gun toting phyco's are looking for fame to spread their "message" this will only make it worse.

    The only solutions to guns are to 1.) keep the crazy's from getting guns 2.) Make sure trusted people with guns are there to stop them if step 1 fails. 3.) Make it hard for them to get at valuables (people or stuff) even if they have a gun through physical security. Anything else is just a waste of time and money IMHO.

  • by mlts ( 1038732 ) * on Monday December 02, 2013 @11:01AM (#45574237)

    More likely, it would be considered a violent felony to "tamper with a monitoring device used for law enforcement purposes" or some other stuff like that, with 20 minimum as a penalty.

    Same reason that the red light and speed trap cameras don't get shot up.

  • by Vitriol+Angst ( 458300 ) on Monday December 02, 2013 @11:21AM (#45574407)

    You just know that "cow tipping" an android mall cop will soon become a federal crime. Like denting a mail box.

    Devices that make labor superfluous will of course have more rights than the labor they got rid of. Instead of worrying about the treatment of future mechanized life forms, I now suspect a lot of us will get caught impersonating synthetic life forms to get a chance in life.

  • by Vitriol+Angst ( 458300 ) on Monday December 02, 2013 @11:34AM (#45574515)

    Speed Trap cameras are not real police either. You seem to suppose that this is to protect you, or has anything to do with the needs of society.

    It doesn't and I will bet that what "mlts" is saying will come to pass sooner rather than later. Likely garbed in some "we need it to defeat the ter'rists scenario."

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