RoboCop Hits The Street and Takes To The Air


Granted, it’s not as intimidating as Officer Murphy in RoboCop or Kit from Knight Rider, but OTSAW Electronics feels its self-driving police car with launchable drone could finally be the solution to automating police patrols.

The OR-3 only stands about waist-high to a person, so physically it’s less intimidating than R2D2, but officials in Dubai expect to have a unit on their streets by the end of this year. They see the primary benefit coming from an ability to detect criminal activity or suspicious objects and then deploy a drone to track the criminals - with an actual officer apprehending any criminals.

The self-charging, four-wheel-drive electric vehicle uses what OTSAW describes as an advanced machine learning algorithm and 3D SLAM (Simultaneous Location And Mapping) technology to navigate its surroundings and detect obstacles or environmental anomalies.

And although the ground vehicle has some obvious tracking limitations, the company states that no criminal will be able to outrun the drone deployed from its trunk.

The ground vehicle and drone also use a collection of cameras and sensors to capture data. This includes cameras with thermal imaging, facial and license plate recognition, and stereo photography capabilities.

Numerous 3D and 2D laser scanners, ultrasonic sensors, and long-range data transmitters help collect and transmit real-time data back to a staff of humans at a control center. This allows police to arrive on-site in apprehending the criminal or manually overriding the ground vehicle and drone if necessary.

The most obvious benefits are the OR-3’s ability to patrol 24/7/365, reducing the number, and related costs, of officers for straightforward security tasks.

By 2030, Dubai wants robots to make up 25 percent of their total police force.

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