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New York City leases security robot to patrol Times Square subway station

Welcome to robot A.I. security checks...You knew this was coming

The NYPD already uses drones and robot dogs, but now New York City is turning to robots to potentially patrol subway stations.

Mayor Eric Adams said the city is leasing a Knightscope K5 Night Security Robot, which will patrol the Times Square subway station overnight during a 2-month trial run.

Adams said the city is looking to technology since the number of law enforcement personnel is dropping.

"It will record video that can be reviewed in case of an emergency or a crime. It will not record audio," said Adams.

The robot, which weighs 420 lbs., will be active and moving around the Times Square station from midnight to 6 a.m. It also has a button riders can press to connect with a live person to ask a question or report an incident.

"For the first two weeks, it will be trained to map out the station. It will move around the main station area and not on the platform," said Adams.

The city is leasing the robot at $9 per hour for the next two months.

Some New Yorkers were skeptical about its usefulness.

"Waste of money. Are you kidding me? Unless it can sprout legs and turn into a transformer and kick the s*** out of somebody, not really gonna do anything," one person said.

"It requires a real person," another rider said. If someone were to try to damage the robot, they would be recorded and prosecuted, officials said.

Other New Yorkers said they're interested in seeing what the robot can do.

"Late at night, especially if you're by yourself, that'll be something that can help anybody who needs it," said Will Lopez, of Hamilton Heights.

"If it's a preventative measure, then sure," said Ben Cion, of Midtown.

"Sounds like it's worth a shot, can't hurt. Can't get any worse down here right?" another rider said.

Officials said subway crime is down as ridership increases, even though some people feel uneasy after recent violent attacks underground.

"Subway crime is down 4.5% versus last year," said NYPD Chief of Transit Michael Kemper.

"This will very likely be the highest ridership week we've had since the pandemic over three years ago," said New York City Transit President Richard Davey.

For now, the robot will have two officers with it at all times, according to Adams. But if the city decides to continue using the robot beyond the initial two months, it would patrol by itself.

Robots like Knightscope K5 are also used in airports in malls.

Source: CBS News

What's your thoughts? Share them below...

How do you feel about robot patrol bots?

  • Great, makes me feel safe

  • More government surveillance = more government control

  • I'm sick of all this tech




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