The New York Police Department’s (NYPD) latest addition to its policing arsenal is the ‘K5′ robot, now stationed at Times Square in the heart of New York City. Standing at an impressive 159 cm tall and weighing 180 kg, this white egg-shaped robot is equipped with advanced surveillance capabilities. Manufactured by Knightscope, an American robot maker, the K5 has been deployed as a pilot project to enhance security at Times Square Station.
With four high-definition cameras and an infrared thermal imaging camera, the K5 can navigate its surroundings at a maximum speed of 4.8 km per hour. This cutting-edge technology has been hailed as a vital tool in Mayor Eric Adams’ pursuit of making New York the safest city in America. However, it is important to note that the K5 robot is currently only operational between midnight and 6 am and is always accompanied by a human NYPD officer.
Unlike its flesh-and-blood counterparts, the K5 robot does not carry traditional police equipment such as handcuffs or guns. Instead, its five built-in cameras capture a 360-degree view of the area, ensuring extensive surveillance coverage. It is worth mentioning that the recorded footage does not include audio or facial recognition due to privacy concerns. Nevertheless, this visual data can serve as valuable evidence in the event of a crime occurring within Times Square Station.
The introduction of robot police officers reflects New York City’s firm commitment to maintaining the safety of its subway system, utilized by over 4 million daily passengers. The deployment of the K5 robot also offers financial advantages, as the cost of operating it stands at a mere $9 per hour, significantly lower than employing human officers. Additionally, the K5 does not require breaks, meal times, or bathroom visits unlike its human counterparts.
However, some reservations have been raised regarding the potential misuse of the K5 robot, such as deliberately pushing it onto railway tracks. Addressing these concerns, NYPD Traffic Commissioner Michael Kemper asserts that anyone caught tampering with or causing damage to the robot will be apprehended and prosecuted, as the robot’s surveillance capabilities can provide incriminating video evidence.
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The ‘K5’ robot, which started working as a ‘New York police officer’ at Times Square Station in New York, belongs to the New York Police Department (NYPD)./X (Old Twitter)
A white egg-shaped robot measuring approximately 159 cm tall and weighing 180 kg appeared at Times Square Station in the center of New York, USA. This robot is called ‘K5’, and it belongs to the New York Police (NYPD).
New York City announced on the 22nd (local time) that it deployed K5, a police robot made by American robot manufacturer Knightscope, in Times Square Station as a pilot. This robot has four HD cameras and one infrared thermal imaging camera, and its maximum speed is 4.8 km per hour. “We are committed to exploring innovative tools to make New York the safest city in America, and the K5 robot police officer will play a critical role,” said Mayor Eric Adams.
For now, the robot police only work between midnight and 6 am. You are matched with a ‘human’ New York police officer. Although they are police robots, they don’t carry handcuffs or guns like real police officers. The five attached cameras record 360-degree views of people passing by. Voice is not recorded and there is no face recognition function due to concerns about human rights violations. The recorded video can be used as evidence when a crime occurs. New York City’s determination to keep the New York subway safe, which is used by more than 4 million passengers every day, is said to be reflected in the introduction of robot police.
The advantage of robot police is that their labor costs are much lower than those of humans. Mayor Adams said, “You can operate K5 for $9 (about 12,000 won) an hour.” Also, unlike humans, they don’t go to the bathroom or need a break or mealtime.
However, some say there are concerns about ‘what people will do if they push this robot on the railway tracks.’ Regarding this, NYPD Traffic Commissioner Michael Kemper told the New York Post, “If anyone destroys or defaces this, they will be videotaped and we will arrest and prosecute them.”
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