NYPD Is Deploying 400Lb Security Robots To Patrol The Streets But Not Like In Robocop

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New York's mayor just approved another robotic initiative to keep citizens safe while supposedly cutting costs for human law enforcers. The new robot called K5 is undergoing trials right now.

Mayor Eric Adams and the New York Police Department (NYPD) have let loose a 420lb robot to patrol Times Square subway station. It's a trial run that will last two months, costing the city a mere $9 per hour to lease. That's way below minimum wage and should bolster Adams' push for several city agencies to reduce spending by 15 percent. 

The robot, a Knightscope K5 Night Security Robot is tasked to patrol the station from midnight to 6 a.m. Its objective is thankfully nothing too dystopian like something out of RoboCop. Rather, this bulbous, armless, rolling robot will use its four onboard surveillance cameras to patrol the platforms and provide NYPD with extra eyes and presence. In the case of an emergency, there's a button on its front facia that riders can press to connect with a live person. 

Once K5 has been trained to map out the station for the first two weeks, it will be able to patrol much of the station. Obviously, K5's existence (and mission brief) have people both being supportive and skeptical. Some call it a waste of money as it cannot react as a real officer could, because nothing beats a human being to quickly assess and deal with emergency situations. Others are more concerned with privacy, although NYPD maintains that the robot won't be using facial recognition and will only record video in case of a crime or an emergency. However, NYPD also hasn't specified if it will be livestreaming K5's video feed.

On the other hand, some riders believe that K5's presence is better than nothing at all, serving as a deterrent, especially late at night.