It looks as if nearly every country around the world will soon have its own robot police officer. In Singapore, things are a bit different. Their RoboCop car is quite interesting to note. A robotic security car is not something we see all that often. However, do not underestimate this vehicle, as it is armed with a drone capable of chasing suspects.
If RoboCop has a gun in his thigh, this robotic security car from Singapore has a drone that it can send after intruders. Singaporean startup Otsaw Digital has created a 176-pound golf-cart-sized automated vehicle called O-R3 that companies can use for security. It has 3D LIDAR sensors and GPS, along with other instruments that it uses to spot unattended bags and to differentiate between employees and intruders. If it spots a bag that remains unattended for five minutes, for instance, it raises an alarm and marks it for further investigation in case it’s something dangerous.
It can differentiate the people security personnel mark as employees from unknown individuals. If it determines that a person is an intruder, it will send a drone from the Robocop’s durable drone case, after him up to around 328 feet away. Otsaw chief Ling Ting Ming explains that the drone can be especially useful if there are obstacles blocking the vehicle’s way since it can provide an aerial view of the area to expose potential hiding places.
Singapore expects robots to play a big role in its bid to become the world’s first smart city, and it sounds like Otsaw’s O-R3 fits its government’s vision perfectly. Clients will be able to rent one for $10,000 a month, which is slightly less than what establishments in the country are paying four security guards. While it can take over the low-level tasks, such as patrolling areas, from humans, though, Ling believes the machine can’t completely replace flesh-and-blood workers. O-R3, he says, can complement human security personnel hired for jobs that require a higher level of skills.
You can watch O-R3 in action below. To note, it’s the outdoor version of the machine. The company is also working on a smaller indoor version with no lasers and drones, and which will likely cost less.
It is important to keep in mind Singapore has no plans to fully replace human security guards by any means. Low-level tasks can be completed by the RoboCop car, but proper investigative work will always be a human task. Complementing human skills with tireless robotics can prove to be quite the potent combination. It will be interesting to see how the general public responds to this cute but professional vehicle