New Robo-Cop: 'R2-D2's Evil Twin'

300-pound Silicon Valley robot aims to keep an eye on things

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Dec 2, 2013 2:20 PM CST

(Newser) – Its makers don't like to compare it to "RoboCop or Terminator"—but it's hard not to. The K5 Autonomous Data Machine is an electronic security guard developed in Silicon Valley by a company called Knightscope, Fox News reports. It's five feet tall, weighs 300 pounds, and is equipped with all kinds of sensors, including a video camera, microphone, thermal sensors, radar, and air quality trackers. "We founded Knightscope after what happened at Sandy Hook," co-founder William Santana Li tells the New York Times. "You are never going to have an armed officer in every school."

"Data collected through these sensors is processed through our predictive analytics engine, combined with existing business, government, and crowd-sourced social data sets, and subsequently assigned an alert level that determines when the community and the authorities should be notified of a concern," says Knightscope. The device itself isn't armed, the Daily Mail notes, but already, some are raising privacy concerns. "This is like R2-D2’s evil twin," a privacy advocate says. "This is the kind of pervasive surveillance that has put people on edge."

A promotional image from Knightscope.
A promotional image from Knightscope.   (Knightscope)
A promotional image from Knightscope.
A promotional image from Knightscope.   (Knightscope)
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Get to know the K5.   (YouTube)

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