China unveiled the world’s first robotic cops at the 12th annual Chongqing Hi-Tech Fair last week.
The autonomous crime-fighting machines called the “AnBots” were developed by the National Defense University, the home of many Chinese military innovations.
Armed with a remote-controlled “electrical anti-riot device,” the 1.49-meter-tall, 78-kg police robots were created to assist their human counterparts with the country’s anti-terrorism and anti-riot street campaigns, according to Shanghaiist (via People’s Daily).
The Anbot is said to be able to roam the streets autonomously and can engage when crime or violence occurs. Programmed to patrol at 1 km per hour for eight hours before having to return to a charging station, the robots can run at a top speed of 18 km per hour when necessary.
Some of its features include biochemical detection, explosives clearing, intelligent monitoring, emergency calls response and even environmental monitoring.
While its innovations are undeniably impressive, the Anbot will not completely be replacing China’s human police force any time soon. The Ministry of Public Security is quite aware of the robot’s limitations such as: lack of social and emotional intelligence, inability to catch suspects and risk of cyber-attacks.
Fans of popular British TV show “Dr. Who” will immediately notice the Anbots’ striking resemblance to the Daleks, a villainous alien race which incidentally, have the same unfortunate weakness: the inability to climb stairs.