Dubai will have its first police robot patrolling the streets by May, the government has said.
Members of the public will be able to report crimes and pay fines though a touchscreen on the robot’s chest. It will be multilingual and the government has previously said it will be deployed in tourist areas to “encourage safety and provide assistance and easy access to police services”.
The machine is just one of several smart services the police force has in the pipeline, and the government said it expects the first fully automated police station to be operational by 2030.
The police robot was first announced at the Gitex technology conference last October. It was one of 18 smart devices displayed by Dubai’s police force alongside electronic payment platforms, virtual assistants and a system that uses algorithms to predict crimes.
In a series of tweets, the government of Dubai’s media office announced plans to introduce the robot police to the streets.
Brigadier Abdullah Bin Sultan, director of the police force’s Future Shaping Centre, said he wanted robots to make up around a quarter of the police force by 2030, Gulf News reported.
Dubai is aligning itself to become a leading smart city and this is not the first time it has developed robots to replace human roles. Last year the emirate announced plans to test fire-fighting robots.
Neither is Dubai the only place looking to replace humans with robots – a number of ports in China now use robot customs officers that can answer questions in 28 languages and dialects and come equipped with an electric cattle prod.
The market for industrial robots is expected to reach $70bn by 2023, with growth fuelled by the internet of things.
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