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Knightscope K5: Autonomous Data-Collecting Robocop to Predict Crimes

In Archive, Big Brother, Surveillance, Technology on February 8, 2014 at 11:55 PM

California-based Knightscope recently unveiled a line of K5 autonomous robots that it believes will “predict and prevent crime with an innovative combination of hardware, software and social engagement.”

Standing five feet tall — which gives the K5 its name — and weighing 300 pounds, the units have a look that resembles R2-D2 from “Star Wars,” but their casual design masks a highly advanced robot, with features including:

  • Autonomously Patrol Areas
  • GPS Locator
  • LIDAR 3D Mapping
  • Thermal Imagining Camera
  • Night Vision Camera
  • Optical Character Recognition
  • Behavioral Analysis
  • Audio Recording
  • Biological, Chemical, Radiation Detection
  • Proximity Sensors
  • License Plate Scanning (1,500/minute)
  • Top Speed of 18 mph

“Data collected through these sensors is processed through our predictive analytics engine, combined with existing business, government and crowdsourced social data sets, and subsequently assigned an alert level that determines when the community and the authorities should be notified of a concern,” the company’s website states.

“We don’t want to think about ‘RoboCop’ or ‘Terminator,’ we prefer to think of a mash-up of ‘Batman,’ ‘Minority Report’ and R2D2,” says Knightscope co-founder William Santana Li.

“This is like R2D2’s evil twin,” said Marc Rotenberg, director of the Electronic Privacy and Information Center. “Clearly, this kind of surveillance technology has an unbounded capacity to collect personal information that a single patrol officer doesn’t.”

The company’s next move is to outfit a dozen beta customers with a dozen K5s each for a test run in 2014.

Sources: NYTimes/USAToday

  1. […] Knightscope K5: Autonomous Data-Collecting Robocop to Predict Crimes […]


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