New York gets rid of its police robot: ‘It’s a trashcan on wheels’

Nueva York se deshace de su robot policía: 'Es un cubo de basura sobre ruedas'

Recently, the mayor of New York City opted to put a police robot on the streets to monitor the safety of the city’s streets. He touted the device as a way to save money in public funds, as the policerobot cost less to maintain than a worker’s salary. The bad news is that during the operation of the machine they also had to hire an agent to supervise it.

What is the name of the New York police robot?

The “Big Apple” police robot is called K5. He began patrolling at the Times Square subway station. One of the busiest areas of the modern city. It was launched in September last year and continued until recently, proving that it can do nothing special compared to a person. The New York Times called the police robot “a garbage can on wheels.”

At the unveiling of the police robot, Eric Adams, the mayor of New York, thought K5 would be an indispensable part of the city’s subway network. However, the machine turned out to be abandoned in an area near a storefront.

The problem turned out to be the robot’s battery

The idea, as planned by the mayor’s office, was that the police robot would roam some areas of the Times Square station during a normal 6-hour workday, between midnight and six o’clock in the morning. The drawback was that K5 could not complete the shift because the battery ran out early. Something that prevented him from finishing the shift completely.

The police robot could only perform a two-and-a-half or three-hour shift, at most. After that time, it had to be loaded, which meant that the shift had to be divided into two batches, providing half an hour’s rest for K5.

In terms of skills, K5 could record suspicious people. However, K5 could not perform the search functions of a skilled police officer such as chasing the offender and catching him, handcuffing him or taking him downstairs. K5’s physical appearance was quite stocky at 5’11” tall and weighing 200 pounds. The police robot could walk at a speed of 5 km/h.

K5 was leased by the Mayor’s Office of New York City.

The police robot was leased to the California-based company Knightscope for 5 months for an amount exceeding twelve thousand dollars. The total price also included the fees from the mandatory K5 programming and learning tasks. According to the mayor’s calculations, K5 was costing about $9 an hour. Something they described as a salary below the minimum wage with respect to the needs of a real worker.

After the test, K5 was left abandoned in an unused store window. Something that has caught the attention of the press, describing the robot as “a garbage can on wheels”.

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