It was inevitable that robots would soon make take over our world, right? They show up in factories to take over people's roles on the assembly line, and now the first robot guard has been patrolling a prison in South Korea. It is a new system created to maintain prison safety and to decrease workloads on people working at the prison. First reported back in Nov 2011, this new video shows firsthand look at the control system and interface.
The robot has been named Robo-guard and stands about 5 feet high. It has been built for the purpose of surveillance and will not interact directly with any prisoners. It uses sensors and software to autonomously navigate through the prison. Its looks are on the friendly side, aimed at making prisoners as comfortable as possible with its presence.
Robo-guard comes equipped with 3D cameras that monitor and observe prisoners and their behavior. It will collect data from their postures and gestures and will analyze them using special algorithms to detect dangerous and threatening situations. If various actions are detected, it will alert guards working back at the control center who can then come and work out the situation if need be. On the other hand, guards are able to observe the situation in real time from video feedback and have the option to communicate with prisoners through a two way wireless system on the robot. Additionally, it can be manually controlled through an iPad if a specific area needs to be watched or checked out.
Having an extra set of eyes to watch prison cells is probably a better thing. It is safe, efficient, and pretty cool. It also may be able to detect suspicious behavior more accurately. In the future, South Korea stated it may want to design a robot to help with pat downs and full body searches. I don't think anyone should be worried yet until the robots come yielding guns.