Crime-fighting robot will patrol streets by 2015

By Casey Frye, CCNN Writer

crime fighting robotics
K5 could potentially be used to patrol school hallways.

Just last week, the start-up company Knightscope revealed their new robot, the K5 Autonomous Data Machine. This bot was designed to prevent crime while protecting the public, and according to company CEO William Santana Li, it’s the future of security.

The K5 is about 5 feet tall, weighs a hefty 300 pounds, and is shaped like a bullet. Besides wielding a license plate recognition system, the R2-D2 look-alike will also come equipped with night vision cameras and thermal (heat) imaging capabilities.

A GPS system and several lasers allows K5 to create a 3D map of its environment, while sensors and audio detectors monitor noise level. The K5 can even keep track of nearby social media and pick out any distressed status updates.

Overall, this big bot should be able to sniff out crime and alert the authorities of any fishy behavior. “It can see, hear, feel, and smell and it will roam around autonomously 24/7,” said Li.

One of the robot’s most impressive features isn’t the fact that it can detect crime, but that he can actually predict it. It will analyze data and use algorithms (step-by-step calculations) and figure out the best location to patrol. While its creator admits that the K5 is not the best system in the world, it’s definitely a good start. “What doesn’t exist in that algorithm is real-time on-site data,” explained Li. “So if you actually had data that was fresh, that was actually from the location you’re trying to analyze, it would make that algorithm much more robust.” In other words, the bot would be even more intelligent if its math could crunch down super current data from the surroundings.

The K5 is just a prototype (early version) so far, but the company plans to have them ready to launch by 2015. It will be used to protect school hallways, company buildings, and our streets. “Our plan is to be able to cut crime by 50 percent in an area. When we do that, every mayor across this planet is going to be giving us a call,” said  Li.

Images courtesy of Knightscope.