China Deploys Robot Traffic Police

Coppers? Not quite.

A northern Chinese city has put a team of robots into operation to aid traffic police in tasks such as patrolling, information consulting and providing accident alerts.

Developed by parties including the Handan municipal public security bureau in Hebei Province, the robots are China's first "robot traffic police" on duty, according to Zhou Zuoying, deputy head of the Traffic Management Research Institute of the Ministry of Public Security.

The robots are loaded with sensors and can move autonomously in all directions. They can assist traffic police to take photos of vehicles violating parking rules, direct traffic and verify driver's licenses.

(Via Xinhuanet.)

Science fiction writers just love the idea of a police robot. Take a look at the police robot from Arm of the Law (1958) by Harry Harrison, the police detection robot from The Unreconstructed M (1957) by Philip K. Dick and the highly sophisticated R. Daneel Olivaw from Caves of Steel (1953) by Isaac Asimov.

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