Police in the United Arab Emirates are preparing to adopt a strange new partner. The city of Dubai has announced that they will be introducing a fleet of automated security guards in 2017, making them the first city in the world to use robotic police officers.
Unlike the fearsome machines that have been frequently portrayed in movies like Robocop, these bots won’t be taking on an aggressive role (at least, not immediately).
The robots will be patrolling crowded public areas, providing surveillance and acting as information terminals for tourists. The man in charge of Dubai’s “smart” unit, Colonel Khalid Nasser Alrazooqi, suggested that the robots will eventually work without any human input, and believes they will be fully implemented by the end of the decade.
We are aiming to provide these kinds of services as the population is expanding. This way we can provide better services without hiring more people.
However, the city may be establishing a dangerous precedent. The US Military’s UAV program was created with the intention of building surveillance aircraft, but quickly turned towards remote piloted war machines with offensive capabilities.
It’s only a matter of time before these “robocops” are programmed and equipped for urban pacification. After watching the governments of Libya and Egypt fall to revolution in recent years, perhaps they’re looking for a new way to protect their regime without the help of pesky humans.
Joshua Krause is a reporter, writer and researcher at The Daily Sheeple, where this first appeared. He was born and raised in the Bay Area and is a freelance writer and author. You can follow Joshua’s reports at Facebook or on his personal Twitter. Joshua’s website is Strange Danger.