Monday 5 December 2016

Meet the new robot police that can zap rioters

Rhiannon Williams

Published 28/04/2016 | 15:39

Credit: New China TV/YouTube
Credit: New China TV/YouTube

China has developed a robot soldier capable of controlling rioting humans in an effort to aid the country's anti-terrorism measures.

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The AnBot, which is 1.5 metres tall and weighs more than 150kg, can reach speeds of up to 18km when patrolling to protect the peace, according to Chinese newspaper People.

The machine was designed and built by the National Defence University, and is equipped with numerous sensors to detect unrest.

It can be controlled remotely to intervene in dangerous situations, deploying an "electrically charged riot control tool", presumably similar to a police baton or a Taser.

The robot has been showcased at an exposition in southwest China's Chongqing Municipality.

Civilians in distress can also press an SOS button on the android's body to send an alert to police.

China has invested vast amounts of money into military robotics in recent years, to varying degrees of success.

Last November "armed attack” robots carrying rifles and grenade launchers designed to fight terrorism were unveiled at the 2015 World Robot Conference in Beijing.

The first model is known as a “reconnaissance” robot, which scouts for poisonous gases, dangerous chemicals and explosives before transmitting its findings back to base.

If this initial investigation detects a simple bomb is the source of danger, the second robot model - a small explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) machine - would be sent in to diffuse it.

Three restaurants in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou fired their robot staff after the machines' incompetence began to cost the businesses money earlier this month.

Website Shanghaiist quoted one manager who said: “Their skills are somewhat limited. They couldn’t pour water for customers, nor could they take orders.”

Google-owned Japanese robotics firm Schaft recently unveiled a bipedal robot capable of inching its way up stairs and lifting heavy loads, albeit awkwardly.

The unnamed prototype walks stiffly up stairs, extending its legs to account for stepping onto different heights, can shuffle sideways like a crab and is capable of walking across a rocky beach and snowy terrain.

Telegraph.co.uk

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