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Dubai's Robotic Cop

               The idea of computerized policing may bring to mind the iconic Robocop, a high-tech cyborg created to eradicate crime. While the city streets may not see a human-robot hybrid any time soon, advanced technology, increased autonomy and precision have led to the development of electronic cops. In May 2017,Dubai has deployed its first Robotic Cop for patrolling purpose.

                You can run, you can hide, but Dubai’s Robocop will find you! The modern age of computerized patrol officers has finally arrived with the introduction of a true Robocop. Working to make the urban streets and malls safer, these robots are designed as part of a government initiative to manage criminal matters more efficiently. These machines are representative of the futuristic technological investments that Dubai has so proudly revealed.

The Middle Eastern country has received much global media attention for the release of the first official robot police officer. These electronic policing solutions have been the focus of many international applications; however, Dubai law enforcement hopes to create an entire robotic police force depending on the success of its prototypes. These robots reach a height of a mere 5 foot 5 inches and have been designed with a seat and wheels making it possible for human officers to board the robot and pursue emergencies where necessary. Possessing an unappealing white mask and two dark eyes, the devices are easily identified by its police hat, green solid exterior and touch screen across the chest. Machines can scan human expressions and will allow people to report crime or communicate with an officer in 6 languages. While it eerily lacks a mouth and nose, these robots aim to detect criminals through facial recognition. Having been developed by PAL Robotics, Dubai plans on creating an entire robotic police force by the year 2030. The developers have released a statement indicating that they aim to lead in humanoid robotic applications and further research.

You do not have to be concerned with the possibility of a manic robot or machine taking over the world as these Middle Eastern law enforcement devices aim to help with faster crime fighting solutions including the option to pay fines. Its purpose is convenience and with greater visibility, the creation safer environments for citizens by curbing crime.Its futuristic features include greeting interested people introduced to the public with an official salute to Dubai officers. With a single click, you can access distinct categories of information from reporting a crime to contacting a real-life policeman.

The latest robocops do not end here. Dubai plans on implementing further technological advances and developments allowing the robotic cops to track down and chase after criminal suspects. Its scanning and recognition technology will detect persons who have failed to settle outstanding parking tickets.In 2 years, large policing robots able to reach speeds of 80kph and haul massive loads of official equipment are expected to make its presence in the Middle Eastern country. Government has revealed their enthusiasm at the prospects of future robotic cops and the ways these digital law enforcers can assist both the public and policing department.

Described as “smart police officers” these impressive crime busting machines aim to prevent unsavory activities and nab potential criminals quickly, creating a safer public space. Further developments include robots designed in the shape of eggs to help manage traffic and parking violations. These robots will operate on a 24-hour basis able to assist with investigations and help people in a predicament without having to cost the state in medical and holiday expenses.The purpose of investing in such advanced technology and policing solutions is to make Dubai one of the safest cities and most sophisticated in the world before the year 2030.

Robo Cop
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Robots in Security Forces Across Globe

    "While Dubai has released its first patrolling police robot, it would be factually incorrect to assume that it is world'd first and only Robot Police in action"

        Various other types of robots are already in  use across the globe for law enforcement, safety and security applications. Where tasks are deemed too dangerous for human life, a robot is sent to complete the job. The concept of policing robots is not a new one, with researchers in robotics and the sciences having invested in years of research, technology and refinement to build reliable enforcement machines. Developers aim to create a programmable security force to work with police and ease the burden and risk placed on many officers.

          The following robotic designs have made its mark to assist in various forms of safety policing and control where efficient and secure responses are needed.

China's Robotic Cop- 'E-Patrol Robot Sheriff' and 'ANBOT'

China Robot Police
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China has deployed Robotic Cop at Zhengzhou East Railways Station in Henan  for patrolling purpose.It is 1.6 meter tall and it  uses a series of cameras to drive itself around.This Robot Sheriff can trace suspicious people using facial recognition.It has in-build capability to monitor temperature and humidity  and is useful to detect safety hazards such as fires. The Robotic cop is officially called ‘E-Patrol Robot Sheriff’.This Robot Sheriff can also identify the railway staff with the help of their identity cards.

              But this is not China’s first Robo Cop.In September 2016, China introduced its first Robotic Cop, ‘AnBot’,  at Shenzhen International Airport in Bao’an district of Guangdong province. AnBot was developed by Shenzhen Public Security Bureau, the National University of Defense Technology and a domestic technology company.Equipped with four high defination cameras  and having facial recognition features, it can carry out security checks.It has in build feature to pass on the images to security station for further analysis.Like Robot Sheriff, it can also identify safety hazards. With 4 ft 9 inches height and weight around 165 pound, it can achieve speed up to 11 miles per hour.AnBot also answers passenger queries regarding flight information. Though the RoboCop is essentially for patrolling purpose it also has some riot controlling features.It has taser which can be activated by someone in the control room.So, it can give trouble makers a ruthless taser if needed in security emergency cases. 

South Korea's Prison Robo Guards

Prison Robo Gaurd
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              In South Korea, Pohang prison officials are relying on a 5 foot Roboguard for patrolling purpose. With 3-dimensional cameras, sensor technology and smart pattern recognition software to recognize unusual inmate actions, it automatically reports undesirable activity to prison officials. A two-way radio provides instant communication between the authorities and inmates. It is unclear that to what extent South Korea is using this Robo guard across it prisons after successful testing in 2012. There are reports that,South Korea is developing Robo Guards based on similar functionality  for patrolling purpose during the Pyongyang 2018 Winter Olympics.

Congo's Traffic RoboCop

In the Central African Country,Democratic Republic of the Congo,poor traffic conditions increase accidents and public risk owing to poor measures of control. In 2013, the city of Kinshasa was provided large robot traffic cops that work with solar power.The humanoid robot is having height of around 8 ft and it has a rotating chest and video cameras.It controls and monitors traffic in Kinshasa, capital city of the country.The impressive robots are placed at major intersections using their expansive arms to direct traffic, helping pedestrians with safe passage and signaling the red, green and amber traffic lights for vehicles. The built-in surveillance identifies bad driving practices and reports to control room. The Robots are designed and manufactured by a Women’s Technology cooperative based at Congo.

Crowd Controlling Robotic Cop

In Lucknow, Northern India, 4 drones have been purchased as a non-lethal form of  crowd and riot management. The surveillance drone will include pepper spray and tear gas and has been tested in a controlled setting having delivered favorable results. The unmanned craft are set for use in other major cites of India like Delhi and Mumbai.

A greater need for security measures and control have increased reliance on drones and related surveillance equipment. While the first drones are being deployed in India, the use of these robots is expected to rise internationally. Police in Greece, Australia and the UK have incorporated drones for surveillance. In the U.S. North Dakota authorities have received approval to implement drone activity. The unmanned aerial vehicles are expected to carry non-lethal weaponry including tear gas and rubber bullets.

Riot Controlling Drone

Drone technology is most commonly used in military forces owing to its intelligence and monitoring of areas deemed dangerous for humans, but has recently become a part of police operations to improve safety. Police departments across the globe are recognizing the benefits of riot control and managing unruly crowds with reliable aerial devices rather than risk the safety of its officers and the public. The fast acting aerial equipment can better manage large crowds using less resources compared to sending groups of armed policeman into the danger zones.

Bomb Detector and Disposal Robots

High-risk and life-threatening jobs are handled by robots including bomb detection and disposal. Management of explosives is a dangerous job and best handled by non-human entities equipped and ready for action. Robots involved in the control of bombs are sturdily built to handle all types of environments. These machines have cameras, lights and arm extensions used to identify and collect the bomb. Once carefully obtained, the delicate package is transported to a designated area where it is safely disposed. The entire procedure is handled by an experienced official using highly sophisticated software, sensory and camera technology.

The autonomous machines are becoming more popular with police’s Bomb Detection Squads.Recently, a bomb disposal robot was used at London Bridge Station to help police in their investigations after after the station was evacuated due to a “security alert”.Similarly, in a Dallas shooting, a bomb detecting robot was used against a suspect after 5 police officers were killed. Increased bomb threats and the need to improve officer safety will create greater dependence on these protective robots.


A robot called ‘The Griffin’, has  been adopted by police in Cleveland in the USA for its tactical and efficient operations. It is designed and built by students at Cuyahoga Community College. The tiny robot is roughly 12 inches tall, 18 inches long and six inches wide and so it is flexible enough to move into small and cramped spots. Its built-in camera and lighting can identify bomb threats without risking human safety. For these reasons, it is also described as a ‘Spybot’ or ‘Scoutbot’.The Griffin was created as a smaller version of the large and solid bomb detectors that are common in policing and military operations. Most explosives placed in spaces that are hard to reach cannot be accessed with major equipment. It is also too costly in many cases of bomb threat and detection to bring the massive bomb detectors into public and community areas. The Griffin aims to make the process of explosive identification and removal more efficient and easier for the police. Officers can use the small robot under cars and similar environments without having to send humans in to perform the job.

Griffin Robot
'The Griffin'

LAPD Batcat

LAPD Batcat
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BatCat is yet another kind of Robot in the same category with distinguish features.The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) in USA has created a truly mean machine called the BatCat, short for Bomb Assault Tactical Control Assessment Tool.It is mainly used for bomb disposal and other tasks requiring a large robot.This Giant Robot comes with a flexible arm of 50 feet in length to grab and remove possible explosives.The robot weighs over 10 000 pounds and can demolish properties and handle explosives that would otherwise cause major devastation. It is an impressive machine and well recognized for its powerful functions and features. This vehicle is  used in many police divisions and combat situations where barricades prevent ease of entry.The vehicle can be driven manually or by remote control depending on the danger of the situation.The Robot was developed by Autonomous Solutions Inc,USA.

Multi Misson Robotic Cop


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Talon a multipurpose robot developed by QinetiQ North America is quite popular for its performance in keeping assets and civilians out of harm’s way. It is used for  law enforcement and first responder applications.It is also part of Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) Bomb SQUAD Unit.TALON robots were deployed at Ground Zero post the September 11 attack on the World Trade Center for search and recovery efforts.It is also used by USA military in operations like Iraq war and Afghanistan War.It was successfully used in Bosnia for the safe movement and disposal of live grenades. It is deployed for explosive ordnance disposal (EOD), reconnaissance, communications, CBRN (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, Explosive), HAZMAT, defense and rescue missions.


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This is another multipurpose robot developed by Endeavor Robotics(formerly iRobot Defense & Security),USA.Brazil had purchased the  ‘Packbot-510’ variant as a security and peacekeeping measure for the Olympics event.It is equipped with variety of sensors.It sends back real time video,audio and sensor data to the controlling device.It helps to assess suspicious parcels.The small robot includes bomb detection and disposal design. It can be used by the police to identify explosives and dispose of it safely. An extended arm equipped to lift 30 pounds, possesses a cutter to diffuse packages. The little robust machine can hurdle over stairs, move through water and reach a 6 mile per hour speed. 

Packbots were used to aid searching through the debris at ground zero after 9/11 attack.Packbots were used to access damaged Fuushima nuclear plant in Japan after the Tsunami.It is also widely used in Military operations.More than 2000 Packbots were used in Iraq and Afghanistan war operations.

Tactical Robots

The use of tactical robots in the police force is on the rise. These micro robots are used for surveillance and high-risk duties. A tactical robot moves across several types of terrain and often goes undetected allowing police and the military to get closer to dangerous environments to assess the situation safely and from a distance. It consists of wheels with a mounted camera, sensors and lights to help navigate through its course. These small devices are widely used by law enforcement in the United States.

Tactical Combat Robot-Dogo

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Standing at 11 inches, the Dogo is a police rover developed by an Israeli Robotic Company, ‘General Robotics’. Its quiet operation and stealthy moves make it easy to operate and enter buildings and high-risk areas undetected.It is weaponize and armed with 9 mm Glock Pistol.It is equipped with a “Point & Shoot” interface and visible laser mark on the target.This small land rover can fire upon suspects without risking police lives.Non-lethal alternatives include pepper spray and tear gas.It has 8 in build cameras and two way radio communication system which enables to communicates with suspects if required for remote negotiations. It can be used for operations like Urban warfare & LIC,Underground warfare,Surveillance & Reconnaissance,Suspect remote identification & neutralization and Remote negotiation.



Tactical Throw Robot
Poland's Taktyczny Robot Miotany
Poland's Taktyczny Robot Miotany(TRM)

The throwbot is a type of tactical robot, but a modern, sturdier and stealthy version. It is a simple to deploy and lightweight device that can be thrown up to 120 feet. Built with a single axle and wheels, its exceptional design helps reach tall buildings and windows. Police throw the robot into a window, entrance or platform and remotely operate the robot to identify potential suspects and assess hazardous situations. Poland has recently incorporated its own throwbot called the Taktyczny Robot Miotany or TRM, translated as Tactical Throw Robot. It is under 4 pounds and can be thrown into the second story of tall buildings without additional support.


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It is  mid sized robot designed for SWAT(Special Weapons and Tactics)applications.This robot is consisting of a large bullet proof shield or barrier that police hide behind when moving into a tactical operation.It has 25-horsepower engine and it’s weight is around 2300 lbs.It is built on remote controlled platform and collapsible for easy transport.The Ballistic Shield can protect up to 12 officers when moving into compromised environments however it can be further customized  for specific applications.It breaches doors, barricades and is used to remove debris providing officers protection. It is developed by Howe and Howe Technologies,USA.

Interceptor Robocop

Drone Catcher

Countries including France and Japan are relying on interceptor drones or drone catchers to prevent other unauthorized aerial robots from accessing designated regions. These airborne robotic cops aim to minimize terrorists from flying bomb laden gadgets into sensitive areas including nuclear power plants, military establishments or the residence of government officials.

Drone catchers used in Japan include a net attached to the robot with the purpose of snaring suspicious aerial robots. The call for further research into intruder drones and effective measures of control includes tracking options to assess its whereabouts.With a potential threat to the Prime Minister of Japan involving a drone, the country has developed larger aerial robots to capture any suspicious drones near government buildings and authorized zones.

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