Chinese Airport Deploys “Electric Cattle Prod” Robot Police to Fight Crime

In an attempt to fight terrorism and deter potential threats at the airport, Shenzhen Airport is now deploying a robot equipped with a cattle prod “electric fork.” China’s People’s Daily reports that the robot, called AnBot, will be patrolling the Terminal 3 Departures Hall round-the-clock.

Developed and built by the National University of Defense Technology in conjunction with the Shenzhen Public Security Bureau, the robot first debuted at a tech fair in April. AnBot stands 5 feet tall, weighs 165 pounds, and has a top speed of 11 mph. Four high definition camera, combined with facial recognition software, can track security threats in the terminal.

Anbot police robot

If necessary, AnBot is also capable of delivering a non-lethal charge from a fork-like device to disarm any suspicious personnel. If it’s any reassurance, though, this feature can only be activated with a human operator’s command (remotely). The robot also has the ability to call in police intervention if needed.

The "fork-like" device that can deliver a non-lethal charge to disarm anyone suspicious

The “fork-like” device that can deliver a non-lethal charge to disarm anyone suspicious

Other than crime-fighting, AnBot can also function as a guide to the airport of sorts. Its touch screen serves as a directory, and can provide flight information to passengers. That is, of course, if you are brave enough to get close to it. Honestly, I’m not sure how this would work, since AnBot is supposed to patrol the Departures Hall; wouldn’t constant interactions with passengers disrupt its mission?

AnBot also serves as a airport guide to passengers

AnBot also serves as a airport guide to passengers

Some has noticed that the AnBot looks similar to the Knightscope K5 robot currently in use in the US. The Knightscope K5 was developed to predict crime in neighborhoods, schools, and malls, as a reaction to the Sandy Hook shooting. It is still in beta stage, but has garnered much attention due to controversy regarding its role in mass surveillance.

Have you seen AnBot in action?

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