Robocop is now a step closer to reality. With robots already making inroads into the fields of medicine and government, it makes sense that law enforcement wasn't far behind. Now, thanks to a company called Knightscope founded by a Texas native, there are robots designed to assist police. "We're developing technology to augment the way that security is done today, and we're doing that with security robots," says Stacy Stephens, co-founder of Knightscope.
These security robots aren't exactly Robocop, but they do contain an array of technology to catch criminals or alert law enforcement to dangerous situations. "We have the Knightscope K5 and the Knightscope K3--the K5 is an outdoor robot, the K3 is an indoor robot," says Stephens. "They use 360-degree video, we have two-way audio communication through the robot, license plate recognition, people detection, and even thermal cameras and signal detection."
Stephens tells KTRH the robots are meant to support law enforcement and security agencies by providing extra eyes and ears. "Essentially we give the robots a playground, or a geo-fence, to play within, and then we have them seek out anomalies that may be of interest to security," he says.
So far, the Knightscope robots are in use at several companies in California, where the company is based. But Stephens, who was born and raised in the Dallas area and attended UT-Arlington, hopes to bring his technology to Texas next. In fact, he's holding a demo this week at Minute Maid Park for potential Houston clients. "We have law enforcement agencies who have expressed interest, we have private corporate clients who have expressed interest, airports, seaports, logistics centers," he says. "Anywhere where you would deploy a human security guard, this is of interest."