‘Robocop’ ready to patrol streets of Dubai

REPORTING FOR DUTY: One of the Middle East’s first operation police robots stands at attention in Dubai
Picture: AFP

A robotic policeman which can help identify wanted criminals and collect evidence has joined Dubai’s police force and will patrol busy areas in the city as part of a government programme aimed at replacing some human crimefighters with machines.

If the “Robocop” experiment is successful, Dubai Police says it wants the unarmed robots to make up 25% of its patrolling force by 2030.

Clad in the colours of the Dubai Police uniform, the life-size robot, which can shake hands and perform a military salute, is the lighter side of a government plan to use technology to improve services and security before Dubai hosts Expo 2020.

“These robots can work 24/7. They won’t ask for leave, sick leave or maternity leave,” a police spokesman said.

The first automated policeman in the Middle East, the robot on wheels is equipped with cameras and facial recognition software. It can compare faces with a police database and flag matches to the headquarters.

It can read vehicle licence plates and its video feed can help police watch for risks such as unattended bags in popular areas of Dubai, a financial and tourism hub.

Members of the public can also talk to the robot to report a crime or communicate with it using a touch screen computer embedded in its chest.

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