Robocop has officially crossed over from the realm of science fiction into the realm of reality. At least one police robot in Dubai could be roaming the city's streets as early as 2017, according to the Dubai Media Office. The robot -- complete with a set of arms, two eyes and a blue police cap -- is part of a larger effort in Dubai to have a squad of robo police around town by 2020, and was shown off at this year's GITEX Tech week. "Robots could do the work of a police officer on ground at certain situations," Khalid Razooqi, the general director of Smart Department Dubai Police, said at a separate technology conference in June. "The project we are working on will involve robots interacting with people and performing some responsibilities that of a police officer."
Those using a phone while driving on New South Wales roads have been put on notice by the state government, with cameras capable of catching illegal phone use set to be deployed across the state. The state government will be deploying the tech initially on Western Sydney's M4 motorway and Anzac Parade in Southeast Sydney. The three-month traffic camera pilot will be delivered by Australian firm Acusensus, which was one of the three companies that took part in an October testing operation. During the four-week test period, more than 11,000 drivers were detected using a mobile phone illegally. "Shockingly, one driver was pictured with two hands on his phone while his passenger steered the car travelling at 80 km/h, putting everyone on the road at risk," Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight Melinda Pavey said of the trial.
It is a terrifying vision of the future - a robot police officer with dark eyes and no discernible mouth that can identify criminals and collect evidence. The robocop, complete with police hat to give it that eerie uncanny valley feel, was shown off outside the world's tallest tower, Burj Khalifa, in Dubai, last June. But since then what has it done? And is Dubai's love affair with robotics any more than just PR for a country desperate to be at the cutting edge of technology? PAL Robotics, the company behind the robot, threw some light on its duties, which seemed more tourist guide than police officer.
History has time and again taught us that, science fiction is only a fantasy until science makes it a reality. In the 1940s Isaac Asimov, a prolific science fiction writer wrote about a future where robots are a part of the human world. Similarly, in a sci-fi film, Robocop made more than 30 years ago, a robot is built-up in order to solve an unprecedented crime problem in dystopian crime-ridden Detroit. Today science fiction has become a reality. Police in different parts of the world are using robots for law enforcement and first, ever robotic police officers have become deployed across China, Dubai and Hyderabad in India.
Earlier this year, Dubai announced that it would begin flying passenger taxi drones this summer. Now, it's putting autonomous cars on the road as well; by the end of the year, the Dubai police plan on deploying a fleet of self-driving police cars that will scan people and identify criminals and "undesirables." The driverless car will operate completely autonomously; it will patrol the city on its own and use biometric software to scan individuals it comes across. Officials are hoping that the very presence of the vehicle in an area will be enough to deter crime; it also comes complete with an onboard drone that will be linked to the Dubai Police's command room for aerial surveillance. OTSAW Digital, a Singapore-based company will be building and manufacturing the O-R3 security robots for the city.