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R2-D2: Mall Cop

samzenpus posted about 4 months ago | from the these-are-not-the-sales-you-are-looking-for dept.

Robotics 139

theodp writes "'The night watchman of the future,' explains the NY Times' John Markoff, 'is 5 feet tall, weighs 300 pounds and looks a lot like R2-D2 – without the whimsy. And will work for $6.25 an hour.' California-based Knightscope has developed a mobile robot known as the K5 Autonomous Data Machine as a safety and security tool for corporations, as well as for schools and neighborhoods. 'But what is for some a technology-laden route to safer communities and schools,' writes Markoff, 'is to others an entry point to a post-Orwellian, post-privacy world.'"

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139 comments

I'm sure its nothing (4, Insightful)

Chrisq (894406) | about 4 months ago | (#45573833)

I'm sure its nothing that a can of spray-paint and some bubble-gum can't deal with

Re:I'm sure its nothing (1)

mrspoonsi (2955715) | about 4 months ago | (#45573847)

You must watch out for the oil slick which is ignited when the robot flies (jeez, sacrilege)

Re:I'm sure its nothing (2)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | about 4 months ago | (#45574291)

here's the progression:
* video recording and streaming
* facial recognition
* weaponized

Re:I'm sure its nothing (1)

BreakBad (2955249) | about 4 months ago | (#45574853)

here's the progression:
* video recording and streaming
* facial recognition
* weaponized
* ???
* profit

Fixed. Futhermore...

Within the next 10 years robots will be cleaning and operating all of your house, patrolling your streets, driving your vehicles, delivering your mail.
The following 10 years robots will be voting for you, playing golf for you, wiping your butt, and getting you pregnant.

But its ok, the jobs people loose will be replaced with jobs in factories assembling said robots. Any other business model just wouldn't be human.

Re:I'm sure its nothing (1)

LifesABeach (234436) | about 4 months ago | (#45576021)

Actually, the Robots will do a better job at assembling themselves. But I do see an increase in Think Tanks.

Spray-paint and bubble-gum!!? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45573857)

While I appriciate your attempt, it's hardly the best you could do.

From the master:

"As laser-wielding robots home in on his body heat, MacGyver creates a fake heat signature by using magnets wrapped in burning paper. He opens several telephone handsets to get the magnets, and finds paper and matches in the science lab he is in. Once aflame, he throws one piece of burning paper, with a magnet wrapped inside, at each robot. The magnets stick to the metal of the robots. With each robot "tagged," they home in on each other and destroy one another." (e01s02)

Re:Spray-paint and bubble-gum!!? (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | about 4 months ago | (#45575701)

While I appriciate your attempt, it's hardly the best you could do.

From the master:

"As laser-wielding robots home in on his body heat, MacGyver creates a fake heat signature by using magnets wrapped in burning paper. He opens several telephone handsets to get the magnets, and finds paper and matches in the science lab he is in. Once aflame, he throws one piece of burning paper, with a magnet wrapped inside, at each robot. The magnets stick to the metal of the robots. With each robot "tagged," they home in on each other and destroy one another." (e01s02)

Odd; I'll have to re-check s02e01; I don't remember that. What I *DO* know is that if the paper generates enough heat to fool the robots, it would also generate enough heat to cause the magnets to lose their magnetism. Rare earth magnets, maybe not -- but telephone headset magnets -- definitely.

Don't get to cocky about your options ... (5, Interesting)

Qbertino (265505) | about 4 months ago | (#45573903)

I'm sure its nothing that a can of spray-paint and some bubble-gum can't deal with.

Don't get to cocky about your options in an orwellian/cyberpunk future.

The corps in turn are sure your spray-paint and bubble-gum tactic is nothing 99.999% reliability facial-recognition + cell-phone tracking + behavioural-and-movement-pattern-recognition + god-knows-what can't deal with by tracking you down, sueing you into next wednesday, locking your creditcards/bankaccounts for that specific mall (all all others connected to the same megacorp and data-exchange conglumerate), putting you on a special surveillance & potential terrorist threat list, ban you from accessing gated communities of type X,Y and Z until further notice and upping your rent for being a threat to society all for spraying and gumming up their new survelliance & minion control bot toy.

Just saying.

Re:Don't get to cocky about your options ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45573983)

Personally, I am not really worried when I look at that design. We got cobblestones in our town center.

Re:Don't get to cocky about your options ... (4, Insightful)

mlts (1038732) | about 4 months ago | (#45574237)

More likely, it would be considered a violent felony to "tamper with a monitoring device used for law enforcement purposes" or some other stuff like that, with 20 minimum as a penalty.

Same reason that the red light and speed trap cameras don't get shot up.

mall cops for the most part are not real cops and (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 4 months ago | (#45574377)

mall cops for the most part are not real cops and they have little to no law enforcement power.

Re:mall cops for the most part are not real cops a (3, Insightful)

Vitriol+Angst (458300) | about 4 months ago | (#45574515)

Speed Trap cameras are not real police either. You seem to suppose that this is to protect you, or has anything to do with the needs of society.

It doesn't and I will bet that what "mlts" is saying will come to pass sooner rather than later. Likely garbed in some "we need it to defeat the ter'rists scenario."

Re:mall cops for the most part are not real cops a (4, Interesting)

tranquilidad (1994300) | about 4 months ago | (#45574613)

They have the same law enforcement power that you and I have, assuming you're not a law enforcement officer. Whether you choose to exercise it or not you have the power to affect a citizen's arrest in most jurisdictions.

The biggest difference between a law enforcement officer making an arrest and a citizen doing the same thing is liability. The law enforcement officer is likely to receive qualified immunity such that if the officer followed his or her training and department policies no personal liability will attach to the officer. You, on the other hand, will face the full brunt of any mistakes you make.

Short of conducting an actual arrest, most law enforcement interactions are based on voluntary cooperation until a threshold is crossed giving the law enforcement officer probable cause to make a formal arrest.

Anyone can have a voluntary interaction with any other person. I could approach you and ask for consent to search your car. You would almost certainly refuse such a request. What gets weird is when most people are approached by a figure of authority, such as a person in a uniform, they tend to comply. A good, from the police department's perspective, law enforcement officer can get almost anyone to consent to a search.

The issue is that until a warrant is issued or an arrest is made there is very little difference between a law enforcement officer, a uniformed security guard or me asking to search you or your car. There are some areas related to preservation of evidence and officer safety that give law enforcement some additional latitude but those situations generally require the officer has legal reason, and thus authority, to seize you meaning you are not free to go. The detention short of an arrest is one of the things law enforcement can do that you, I and the mall security guard should not attempt.

The other big difference is that we, collectively or collectively enough, have decided to give law enforcement officers guns, sticks, handcuffs and a system to make it more and more difficult to refuse the voluntary interaction.

But you, Joe_Dragon, and that mall security guard have a lot more law enforcement authority than you may believe. Liability and safety concerns, though, generally lead to employer policies prohibiting mall security guards from doing anything other than Observe and Report [imdb.com].

Re:mall cops for the most part are not real cops a (1)

chihowa (366380) | about 4 months ago | (#45575437)

What gets weird is when most people are approached by a figure of authority, such as a person in a uniform, they tend to comply. A good, from the police department's perspective, law enforcement officer can get almost anyone to consent to a search.

This is because most people don't know that the interaction is voluntary. Your "good policeman" is effective at making the search seem mandatory.

[Their gun, and the general knowledge that they would most likely get away with any assault on you (up to and including murdering you), makes complying with their whims seem even more mandatory. If you recreated your above scenario (you asking for consent to search a car), but this time you are armed and they have no chance of rallying assistance, you'd find people "consent" to your search as well.]

Re:Don't get to cocky about your options ... (3, Informative)

Salgak1 (20136) | about 4 months ago | (#45574259)

Actually, if I wanted to defeat one of these, I'd build an EMP Pulse generator into something innocuous, and fry it from a distance.

Example (although likely too low-powered to disable a MallBot . . ):

http://www.wikihow.com/Build-an-EMP-Generator [wikihow.com]

Re:Don't get to cocky about your options ... (2)

Vitriol+Angst (458300) | about 4 months ago | (#45574539)

I see a lot of uses for an EMP generator.

But then, hardening these things isn't that tough either. All they need is a wire mesh and galvanized rubber wheels and they've got a Faraday cage.

I suspect as well, that not all EMP is the same -- it's basically a problem of overloading the capacitance of a system. So fragile electronics -- very friable. Analog insulated wires and vacuum tubes -- not very friable.

Re:Don't get to cocky about your options ... (1)

Salgak1 (20136) | about 4 months ago | (#45574693)

For that matter, I suspect that they'd be vulnerable to one of those hand-held "taser" high-voltage personal defense devices. . .

Re:Don't get to cocky about your options ... (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 4 months ago | (#45575195)

But then, hardening these things isn't that tough either. All they need is a wire mesh and galvanized rubber wheels and they've got a Faraday cage.

Faraday cages are grounded. You've just created an untuned rolling antenna. It's going to receive the signal and then reradiate it in confusing and unexpected ways.

Re:Don't get to cocky about your options ... (2)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 4 months ago | (#45575031)

That's not an EMP generator, that's a HERF generator. If it were an EMP generator, it would work through metal cases. If you blew up the coil at the precise moment the current was being dumped through it, then you would have an EMP generator. This is how the EMP warhead on the tomahawk missile works.

Re:Don't get to cocky about your options ... (1)

Vitriol+Angst (458300) | about 4 months ago | (#45574483)

There is some new "tech gadget" I'd read about that uses spectroscopic interferometry to detect trace particles off of anyone at about 100 feet. So it can know what you had for breakfast. I suspect that coupled with body mechanics and ubiquitous video (to track you to your car in the parking lot) will make anonymity a thing of the past.

I suppose you could get disguised and arrive at a mall via sewers wearing a bleach covered disposable plastic suit with a morph-ink face mask. Steal some paint in the store so there is no track record of use, and then use that on the Android Mall Cop, all for some satisfaction.

The time window for us to organize and anonymously gather to change this world the way we want it, versus the way over-represented wealthy and powerful people want it, is fast disappearing. By the time we do something, we will have harder to defeat monitoring than North Korea.

Re:Don't get to cocky about your options ... (2)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 4 months ago | (#45575047)

There is some new "tech gadget" I'd read about that uses spectroscopic interferometry to detect trace particles off of anyone at about 100 feet. So it can know what you had for breakfast.

You mean the handheld gadget? It's fake. And the "chip" in the "demo" video appears to be a cut out piece of refrigerator magnet.

Re:I'm sure its nothing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45573935)

Oh, they already thought of that. From TFA: "For the moment, the system is unarmed, and it is certain to become the target of teenagers who will undoubtedly get a thrill from knocking the robot over."

Yes, "for the moment." Your can of spray-paint is no match for its deadly, deadly lasers.

Re:I'm sure its nothing (4, Insightful)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 4 months ago | (#45573945)

Yes, because people have a right to privacy while breaking into a warehouse. Why is this news anyway? Security robots have been around for more than a decade, and this one doesn't seem to have any sensors or capabilities that are new or different. Even the "rent-by-the-hour" option is not new. It seems overpriced for something that is basically just a wifi camera with wheels.

Re:I'm sure its nothing (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 4 months ago | (#45573969)

Yes, because people have a right to privacy while breaking into a warehouse.

Where do you get warehouses from? Both TFA and TFS focus on public places such as "neighborhoods and schools."

Re:I'm sure its nothing (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45574897)

Where do you get warehouses from?

I buy my warehouses on Amazon.com [amazon.com]

Reading comprehension fail? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45575017)

Why is this news anyway?

BECAUSE R2-D2.

What are they teaching you kids in school these days, anyway?

Re:I'm sure its nothing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45573989)

I foresee a new urban equivalent of cow tipping...

Re:I'm sure its nothing (3, Funny)

LoRdTAW (99712) | about 4 months ago | (#45574797)

I have a better idea. Get a bunch of foam spheres, cut them in half and apply sticky tape to the flat side. Then get a plunger along with a whisk and put a sticky mount on each end. And as a bonus, hide the electronic guts of one of these [thinkgeek.com] inside of a half sphere and modify the switch to activate every 10 seconds. Bonus points if you attach a bigger speaker.

Then simply "decorate" the security bot. Your defaced security r2-d2 should now look something like this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Dalek_2010_Redesign.jpg [wikipedia.org]

EXTERMINATE!

Re:I'm sure its nothing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45575881)

I bow to our new Dalek overlords

yup, i've seen it before... (2)

mrzaph0d (25646) | about 4 months ago | (#45573841)

history [imdb.com] repeats itself

Re:yup, i've seen it before... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45573887)

Can't get to imdb from here, but can I assume you're making a Chopping Mall joke?

Re:yup, i've seen it before... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45573947)

He is. I can't believe it took six minutes for someone to make a Chopping Mall joke. Slashdot, I am disappoint. You're losing your 80s cheese edge.

Upgrade (1)

tuo42 (3004801) | about 4 months ago | (#45573843)

So they get slightly smaller, remain the same weight, and have a different look.

If Apple releases such a thing and calls it "the future", they are flamed for only changing looks and making it slighty smaller....

Weird...

Oh, right, Slashdot:
I for one welcome our new, R2-D2-looking, overweight overlords of nightly surveillance!

Re:Upgrade (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | about 4 months ago | (#45574243)

... and doubling the price while telling you how you can and can't use it. It would probably also have a proprietary charging mechanism.

More Fun To Tip Than Cows (3, Funny)

Greyfox (87712) | about 4 months ago | (#45573845)

Just put your Guy Fawks mask on and aim for the head!

Re:More Fun To Tip Than Cows (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | about 4 months ago | (#45573875)

Does it roll down stairs?

Re:More Fun To Tip Than Cows (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45573915)

Does it roll down stairs?

Alone or in pairs.
Rolls over your neighbour's dog.

Re:More Fun To Tip Than Cows (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45574065)

Whats great for a snack?
And fits on your back?

Re:More Fun To Tip Than Cows (2)

Vitriol+Angst (458300) | about 4 months ago | (#45574415)

I suspect you were really looking for; "Does it BOUNCE in a satisfying way down the stairs and make a sparky or popping sound?"

Re:More Fun To Tip Than Cows (3, Insightful)

Vitriol+Angst (458300) | about 4 months ago | (#45574407)

You just know that "cow tipping" an android mall cop will soon become a federal crime. Like denting a mail box.

Devices that make labor superfluous will of course have more rights than the labor they got rid of. Instead of worrying about the treatment of future mechanized life forms, I now suspect a lot of us will get caught impersonating synthetic life forms to get a chance in life.

Re:More Fun To Tip Than Cows (1)

BreakBad (2955249) | about 4 months ago | (#45574957)

Its all about personality (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i90vWgOrOK8 [youtube.com]). If the robots have personality (AI), they'll get sympathy, liberties, paychecks.

Who's gonna be the first person to get sued by a bot? Probably that drunk guy staggering out of a bar and peeing in an ashtray bot thinking it was a urinal bot.

Re:More Fun To Tip Than Cows (1)

alexgieg (948359) | about 4 months ago | (#45575153)

Instead of worrying about the treatment of future mechanized life forms, I now suspect a lot of us will get caught impersonating synthetic life forms to get a chance in life.

It's more likely that some kind of guaranteed minimum income will be adopted once robots are cheap enough and productive enough for the rich to not mind sparing a small percentage of all the surplus they produce to keep the masses in house getting high with access to 24 hours per day of American Idol / sports / reality TV / video-games / porn / sex, all for the cheap, cheap cost of a free vasectomy / tubal ligation. Bread and circus. Brave New World, not 1984, with most people utterly satisfied. No revolts, no demands, no nothing, all the while the 1% steadily moves into the 0.1%, then 0.01%, then 0.001%... with extended life, then immortality, then cybernetic augmentation...

Re:More Fun To Tip Than Cows (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 4 months ago | (#45575289)

"the rich to not mind sparing a small percentage of all the surplus they produce"

When you reach the top level of wealth, money isn't money any more: It's a way of comparing your high score.

Re:More Fun To Tip Than Cows (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45575381)

You're not going to get anywhere with your stinking anticapitalist evil socialist ideas.

Once robots are cheap enough and productive enough the rich won't need the masses except as soldiers, slaves and worshippers.

Re:More Fun To Tip Than Cows (1)

alexgieg (948359) | about 4 months ago | (#45575449)

Once robots are cheap enough and productive enough the rich won't need the masses except as soldiers, slaves and worshippers.

No, no, no. Just as worshipers. The slaves are the robots. As for the soldiers, you only need them to deal with troublemakers, and a satisfied populace doesn't cause problems (to you at least). Besides, why risk revolutions and the like if doing things slowly can be as much effective? Link perfect, permanent fun to giving up on babies and over time the issue of too much useless people existing solves itself. It's win-"win" all around!

Re:More Fun To Tip Than Cows (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45575333)

I don't know what rights human mall cops have, but I'm pretty sure cow tipping them is legally dubious, at best.

Re:More Fun To Tip Than Cows (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45575393)

You just know that "cow tipping" an android mall cop will soon become a federal crime.

I'm pretty sure that double-digit percentages of my neighbors are Federal criminals based on pot smoking alone. Now throw in immigration. Throw in some of the bullshit Federal crimes like the mailbox thing and it's probably half.

My first thought was that these things might have copper in them. Honey badger don't care. Honey badger don't give a shit. Oooo look... he's banging the shit out of that robot with a hammer. Honey badger really needs that hit of meth. Look, he's hauling it back to that abandoned building in his shopping cart...

Exterminate! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45573861)

Exterminate!!!

Says it all. (4, Funny)

Virtucon (127420) | about 4 months ago | (#45573881)

“We have a different perspective,” Mr. Li said. “We don’t want to think about ‘RoboCop’ or ‘Terminator,’ we prefer to think of a mash up ‘Batman,’ ‘Minority Report’ and R2-D2.”

I guess ultimately this product will be a whimsical vigilante that will seal you in a hole in the ground if it thinks you're going to spit on the sidewalk?

Hilarious (2)

Reliable Windmill (2932227) | about 4 months ago | (#45573889)

That video mock-up with the epic battle music makes the company out as being run by a bunch of excited teenage boys, or something. Pretentious and lacking of seriousness.

Re:Hilarious (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45573971)

If they were excited teenage boys, they would be trying to build a gynoid. Much better choice if you ask me, this mall cop is hardly sexy at all.

Re:Hilarious (1)

Vitriol+Angst (458300) | about 4 months ago | (#45574437)

Or brilliant marketing for the target demographic; trust fund VPs who want to replace people with something that beeps as soon as possible.

"Robot costs $6.25 an hour, mall cop costs $6.25 an hour. Does it have theme music? Screw Bob and his family -- I want the kewl robot!"

Re:Hilarious (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45575079)

"Robot costs $6.25 an hour, mall cop costs $6.25 an hour. Does it have theme music? Screw Bob and his family -- I want the kewl robot!"

I think minimum wage is higher than that now, unless mall cops are getting tips.

dupe (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45573931)

from over a year ago... what's next? an article about the exciting new technology of marketing to people based on where their eyes are gazing throughout a store... again?

Can we stop with the schill slashbegging for venture capital?

Easy solution (3, Insightful)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | about 4 months ago | (#45573955)

Don't patronize malls. Go to your local stores instead - and support them before they get swallowed up by giant faceless, evil retail chains.

Shopping malls are already dehumanized temples of consumerism, even without the robots. Those who know what social interaction is avoid these places like the plague anyway...

Re:Easy solution (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 4 months ago | (#45575071)

Shopping malls are already dehumanized temples of consumerism, even without the robots. Those who know what social interaction is avoid these places like the plague anyway...

I go to the mall because I know what social interaction is, and the sooner I finish doing it with people I don't want to interact with, the sooner I can do it with people I like.

The only real problem with malls is that they aren't arcologies. That would really improve efficiency.

Holy Crap! (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about 4 months ago | (#45573967)

If that thing costs $6.25 an hour to operate then it's a complete rip off. How the hell does that tin can cost that much to operate?

Re:Holy Crap! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45574009)

If that thing costs $6.25 an hour to operate then it's a complete rip off. How the hell does that tin can cost that much to operate?

Besides, how is that going to compete with illegals working for $3,25 an hour?

Re:Holy Crap! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45574115)

You are assuming the mall owner is buying it. Bet you they are contracting it out at $6.25 which just undercuts minimum wage for a human security guard.

Re:Holy Crap! (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 4 months ago | (#45575089)

If that thing costs $6.25 an hour to operate then it's a complete rip off. How the hell does that tin can cost that much to operate?

Maybe they're taking into account the TCO. When you add on the ~40% premium you pay on top of wages for a typical human employee, it starts to look like very little money. As a bonus, it will probably be much better at detecting genuinely suspicious activity than a meatbag, because it will have only programmed and computed prejudices, and the average programmer is more self-aware than the average security guard. (Now we can argue THAT point, but I don't think it will go well...)

Re:Holy Crap! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45575323)

If that thing costs $6.25 an hour to operate then it's a complete rip off. How the hell does that tin can cost that much to operate?

It is $6.25/hr because it's replacing a $7.25/hr human being. "Complete rip off" is a strange synonym for "cheaper than the alternative options".

Prices aren't based on marginal costs, they are based on what the market will bear. You are going to be unnecessarily frustrated for the rest of your life if you continue to posit a reality that doesn't exist.

Hmm typical (1)

Big Hairy Ian (1155547) | about 4 months ago | (#45573985)

Awaits update to to electromagnetic counter measures! Seriously I could take this thing out with a microwave.

Re:Hmm typical (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45574055)

Considering the kind of backlash you'd get from arming them, these things are little more than mobile alarm systems. As such, I expect that a catastrophic failure of one or more bots to trigger an alarm that would ring the local PD.

You now have 5 seconds to comply. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45574021)

Four... three... two... one... I am now authorized to use physical force!

Security Events - Direct Downloads - Video+Audio (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45574033)

http://wipkip.nikhef.nl/events/ [nikhef.nl]

Index of /events/

Icon Name Last modified Size Description Parent Directory
          BoostCon/ 09 May 2012 19:13
          CCC/ 04 Jan 2013 01:33
          CONFidence/ 12 May 2012 02:49
          defcon/ 12 May 2012 06:11
          derbycon/ 12 May 2012 06:13
          Documentaries/ 12 May 2012 02:51
          echtehackers/ 12 May 2012 06:18
          emfcamp/ 07 Sep 2012 00:08
          eth 0/ 12 May 2012 06:20
          FIRST/ 12 May 2012 02:52
          FOSDEM/ 12 May 2012 03:42
          FroSCon/ 12 May 2012 04:25
          GoingNative/ 12 May 2012 04:33
          HAL/ 12 May 2012 04:42
          HAR/ 12 May 2012 05:01
          HitB/ 12 May 2012 05:12
          hitr2ndb/ 19 Sep 2012 13:01
          hollandopen/ 12 May 2012 06:25
          HOPE/ 12 May 2012 05:01
          OHM/ 23 Sep 2013 00:30
          overig/ 12 May 2012 06:26
          ph neutral/ 12 May 2012 06:52
          rehash/ 12 May 2012 06:56
          rpi/ 12 May 2012 06:56
          securitytube/ 12 May 2012 06:58
          shmoocon/ 17 Mar 2013 23:35
          WTH/ 12 May 2012 05:41

Joking aside, robot police need to be policed (3, Interesting)

davecb (6526) | about 4 months ago | (#45574041)

In particular, they need to delete "yesterday's tape" except for events submitted to the human police for a prosecution.

This is what Canadian law requires for business information not needed for explicit, agreed-upon business purposes. Bell, for example, can't divulge my address to a third party without my permission, and must delete it after the business relationship has come to an end.

We may need a law or a decision setting out the limits of what one implicitly consents to in entering a privately owned place open to the public: different jurisdictions are more or less protective of shoppers' privacy in malls, where the problem has first shown up.

--dave

Dalek? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45574087)

They're trying to sell it as a friendly R2-D2, not the evil Dalek.

Re:Dalek? (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 4 months ago | (#45574297)

That was my first thought when I saw the pic, looks way more like a Dalek with its upright stance and conical profile.

Robots per hour (1)

BringsApples (3418089) | about 4 months ago | (#45574153)

The most alarming aspect to this article isn't the stupid robot that no one wants, but the fact that there's a company out there that's trying to build robots to replace people, on a per hour basis. I imagine places like Home Depot will want a robot to greet/answer questions, and perhaps The People would too. Hell, look at how self-checkout at Walmart is a hit.

Re:Robots per hour (1)

mjr167 (2477430) | about 4 months ago | (#45575975)

That's cause people suck. If the clerks in wall mart could check me out at a speed greater than 1 item per hour, we wouldn't need robots.

Moral of the story: Don't suck and you won't be replaced.

Man invents new Security Camera! (4, Insightful)

Amtrak (2430376) | about 4 months ago | (#45574165)

“We founded Knightscope after what happened at Sandy Hook,” said William Santana Li

Seriously! How is an unarmed rolling video camera going to stop some idiot with a gun. Most of the time these gun toting phyco's are looking for fame to spread their "message" this will only make it worse.

The only solutions to guns are to 1.) keep the crazy's from getting guns 2.) Make sure trusted people with guns are there to stop them if step 1 fails. 3.) Make it hard for them to get at valuables (people or stuff) even if they have a gun through physical security. Anything else is just a waste of time and money IMHO.

Re:Man invents new Security Camera! (1)

mlts (1038732) | about 4 months ago | (#45574277)

I've read about some software that can automatically discern the shape of a held firearm and send an alert, be it a pistol, or rifle. Then, there are detectors used in places which can tell a gunshot and locate almost exactly where it took place.

Maybe that in combination with a patrolling robot might give an early warning should an event occur.

Will it actually work? Who knows. However, it might give a few minutes warning for a place to go into lockdown so an attacker has fewer targets to choose from.

Re:Man invents new Security Camera! (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 4 months ago | (#45575105)

Without making the robot shoot back, all it can possibly do is alert you that people are already being murdered. An intelligent, compassionate security guard can do better than that. Unfortunately, they are in short supply. Armed guards aside, a security guard's primary job is to witness and report.

Re:Man invents new Security Camera! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45574883)

Seriously! How is an unarmed rolling video camera going to stop some idiot with a gun..

It's just there to call in air support. Sequential kamikaze ramming attacks by the local swarm of Amazon delivery drones...

...of course, in practice corporate security will use it to shut down anyone with a megaphone who is making too much sense at protests in front of HQ, Anon will hack the system and target bank executives, and someone in government will find a reason why this requires us to give up more of our freedoms.

Re:Man invents new Security Camera! (1)

TangoMargarine (1617195) | about 4 months ago | (#45574947)

This strikes me as falling in the same general sphere as mall security: less "oh shit it's a cop, run!" and more "hey, that thing looks pretty sweet--we should steal it!"

With lasers! (1)

coldsalmon (946941) | about 4 months ago | (#45574175)

"The system will have a video camera, thermal imaging sensors, a laser ... and a microphone."

Okay, so it's a "laser range finder" and not a death ray, but my world now potentially includes hostile robots shooting lasers at me, which is neat (or terrifying?).

So then... (5, Funny)

Chris Mattern (191822) | about 4 months ago | (#45574257)

'The night watchman of the future,' explains the NY Times' John Markoff, 'is 5 feet tall, weighs 300 pounds and looks a lot like R2-D2 â" without the whimsy. And will work for $6.25 an hour.'

So, no changes from the present, then.

Appearance (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45574279)

FTFA:

Mr. Rotenberg . . . acknowledged, however, that K5’s looks were benign enough. “It doesn’t look like Arnold Schwarzenegger,” he said. “Unless he was rolled over and pressed into a ball.”

No, it looks like the Aperture Science defense turrets [google.com]. Not very comforting, actually.

Anyone seen "Chopping Mall"? (1)

funky49 (182835) | about 4 months ago | (#45574285)

There was this boss 80s movie called Chopping Mall about mall security robots killing some teens that snuck into the mall at night to eat pizza and make love.

This story reminds me of that horror movie. Except the teenager part. And the killing part.

But totally the mall security robots part!

Re:Anyone seen "Chopping Mall"? (1)

DSElliot (3445351) | about 4 months ago | (#45574469)

+1 that's the first thing I thought of when I saw this. Although I believe it was also marketed as "Killbots."

What a missed opportunity.. (1)

David Betz (2845597) | about 4 months ago | (#45574567)

They could have had an EPIC security system yelling out "EXTERMINATE! EXTERMINATE! EXTERMINATE!"

Early version (1)

LongearedBat (1665481) | about 4 months ago | (#45574701)

known as the K5 Autonomous Data Machine

In 4 versions time they'll have upgraded the version to be friendly, intelligent, run on four legs and be able to chase after people, especially postmen.

What could possibly ... (1)

Fnord666 (889225) | about 4 months ago | (#45574761)

What could possibly go wrong [imdb.com]?

Re:What could possibly ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45574977)

This is one of my favorite movies ever, and why I came here to comment. If I had mod points, they would be yours, sir.

Daleks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45575163)

I can see it now, ever smarter automated mall security drones that look like R2-D2, constantly being harassed by mall rat teenagers. Ten years pass and we're overrun with Daleks.

same as now (1)

KernelMuncher (989766) | about 4 months ago | (#45575343)

at 5 feet and 300 lbs, it's not so different from normal security guards today who look like they'd get winded from standing up

Denning Mobile Robotics (1)

mlwmohawk (801821) | about 4 months ago | (#45575823)

Almost 20 years ago I worked on the development of a mobile robot security guard at Denning Mobile Robotics. When we tried to sell to a "large security vendor" we were told that the robot was expensive and if it were destroyed, they would be out capital. If they hire low-wage humans, when they get killed they can hire another one cheaply and insurance (that the human pays for) will take care of the rest. Second, what does the robot cost? If it is patrolling a Walmart, it is likely that the robot is the most valueable thing in the room and will, itself, be the target of theft.

Now, toss a blanket over it and you have completely disabled it.

Where are they now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45576047)

This seems like a where are they now story.

After Star wars - following the legends.

R2D2 attempted to find more acting jobs but no-one wanted to hire a short robot that doesn't speak english. He is now working as a mall cop in LA.
C3P0 is working as a translator for tourists in Mexico City. There have been some alligations of drug trafficing but so far no evidence has been found.
Han Solo is current serving a 25 year prison sentence at San Quinten for operating as a drug smuggler for the Mexican cartels. His wife Lea waits patentially for his release with their 5 children. She currently is unemployed and on wellfare.

Luke retired to the midwest to become a farmer. He was unwilling to speak to us about his sister and former friends.

Chewy vanished after the movies completed but some die hard fans claim to have seen him in the Northern Canadian Wilderness. Yearly expaditions are conducted in order to locate the reculsive star.

Wrong format (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45576389)

If this is to be unarmed, then you have the wrong format of robot. Having something on the ground to do video surveillance is useless. You need a small, rechargable quadcopter with a camera. A flying robot can avoid the teens, patrol much faster, go from one level to another without escalators, elevators or stairs, and can 'see' much further because of its physical height.

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