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Dubai Police Adds First Ever Robot Cop to Their Ranks

May 29, 2017 06:31 AM EDT
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The sci-fi world of the future is being built in Dubai. Now, the Dubai Police is welcoming the first ever robot officer in their ranks. It's not quite the stuff of movies just yet, but this "robo-cop" is pretty close.

According to a report from BBC News, the robot will be stationed at the malls and tourist attractions. Civilians can tap on a touchscreen on the robot's chest to report crimes, pay fines and find out information. It will also collect data that's going to be shared with transport and traffic officials.

Eventually, the Dubai government hopes that 25 percent of the force will be robots by 2030. These aren't meant to replace human officers. Instead, the robots will make the force's workload lighter so they be more efficient and focus on more important areas.

"We are not going to replace our police officers with this tool," Brigadier Khalid Al Razooqi, director general of smart services at Dubai Police, explained. "But with the number of people in Dubai increasing, we want to relocate police officers so they work in the right areas and can concentrate on providing a safe city."

The robot from Pal Robotics can broadcast the data immediately to the command and control center, which makes it capable of protecting the people 24/7. It can communicate in Arabic and English, but the developers are also planning to add a couple more languages like Russian, Chinese, French and Spanish.

In the future, the government is hoping to be able to create a robot that can actually function as a regular police officer. While the stage is already in research and development, there's still a lot of work ahead.

"Technology-wise, we are still struggling," Alrazooqui told CNN. "Robots (that) can run similar to a human being, capturing criminals, carrying weapons. We are still waiting until manufacturers reach that target. We're working very closely with them, and we even provided them (with) all the system requirements."

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