Knightscope: robotic police

By | 2 minute read | August 10, 2016

Close-up view of police officer engaged in a conversation using walkie-talkie. Cop wears blue uniform with black above the pockets. There is a window in the background.

Robotics is a diverse and far reaching industry. In  the digital age, we are just beginning to understand where robotics can have an impact. Enter Knightscope, a crime fighting robot.

Crime rates in the United States have fluctuated greatly over the years. After the second World War, crime rates increased in the U.S. and continued to do so until around 1990, when it began to decline steeply until present day. A couple theories for this include the number of police officers having increased since the 1990s and the continuous expansion of the U.S. prison population since the 1970s.

Nevertheless, crime is still a major societal concern. It has one- trillion-dollar impact on the United States economy every year—population growth and income inequality are expected to increase this figure over time. Robotics can offer a solution to this problem and lower the economic strain caused by crime. A startup company from Mountain View, CA named Knightscope proposed their solution to decreasing crime rates in the U.S. They have a lofty goal to cut crime in the US by 50%.

How can a robot stop crime – Knightscope?

Knightscope has developed machines that are designed to keep people safe. The machines are essentially “robot police” that monitor public spaces for suspicious activity. The robot uploads a continuous live-stream to a server and also alerts the system when it detects criminal activity.

Knightscope believes that their product will not replace human security in the future, but they will support police forces, and improve efficiency. Currently, Knightscope rents each five-foot, 300 pound machine for only $7 per hour, which is less than minimum wage. The machines are extremely rugged; if ever kicked over, they can continue to capture human behavior on film and report it to authorities. Knightscope  believes that with the data from their robot, they will be able to predict violent crimes and mass shootings. In the last ten years, the US has had the top three deadliest mass shootings in the country’s history. These robots could play a part in creating major change around the world.

Robots protecting your communities

As technology continues to advance, innovations become the solutions which we no longer had available. Knightscope hopes that their police robot will play a major role in security reform. This robot may be able to eliminate violence in communities. Knightscope has had paying customers for over a year now, and it will be exciting to see their product continue to grow and develop in the years to come.

The future for robotics is encouraging. Everyday there are new technologies, new companies who offer solutions that we never dreamt to be possible. Robots roaming the streets is no longer the stuff of science fiction—it is a reality.

To read more about robotics and check out “The future of robotics and AI is bright” on our IoT Blog.