Robot guard will smoke out villains� (New Scientist – John Boyd, Yokohama 19:00 04 August 04 – Exclusive from New Scientist Print Edition)
Then how did I get this article online without a subscription? Weird.
Robocop it is not, but a security company in Tokyo is hoping that a cross between a dodgem car and the robot R2D2 will soon be helping Japanese companies scare off, or help apprehend, intruders.
Secom, a company better known for supplying human security guards, has developed a six-wheeled surveillance robot which can be either remotely controlled or pre-programmed. It can chase intruders, take high definition video pictures of them, issue loud warnings and release a dense, billowing cloud of smoke to frighten them off.
…Weighing 120 kilograms, it is no pushover. It travels at up to 10 kilometres per hour for up to 24 kilometres on a full battery charge.
Quite a little tank.
Target markets for the droid include airports, ports and hazardous industrial sites, where the robot can either patrol on a pre-programmed route or be controlled over a Wi-Fi link.
But the robot will not be for sale. Secom plans to rent out the robots at 300,000 yen a month ($2700) which is half the cost of hiring a human security guard to do the same job, says the firm.
Lovely. A literal, explicit attempt to replace human labor with robots.