China Unveils Weaponized Robot Security Guard

The AnBot is China’s first “intelligent security robot,” according to state newspaper People’s Daily, and it was developed by the National Defense University.

The 1.49-m, 78-kg machine has a maximum speed of 18 km per hour, and its standard patrol speed is 1 km per hour. It has sensors that mimic the human brain, eyes and ears. It is capable of eight hours of continuous work, AnBot is able to patrol autonomously and protect against violence or unrest, People's Daily reported.

When people around AnBot face security threats, the robot’s control personnel can remotely deploy AnBot’s electrically charged riot control tool. Within AnBot’s patrol area, people can also call for help or press the SOS button on the robot’s body to notify police of a problem, the article noted.

The robot is "bad idea," reported Popular Science. "People could also press a button on the robot to call for help, although it's unlikely citizens would be flocking to the shock-y riot bot in the event of an emergency, the Popular Science article said.

"The bot could operate autonomously or be remote controlled, but since even our best autonomous cars are not (yet) equipped to fight crime, this claim is dubious at best, the article said. "The robot would have to navigate highly complex spaces, determine threats, identify and track violent offenders, and take appropriate action. We've seen other police and security robots appear in recent years, but none have really taken off in a big way yet, so we're not holding our breath on this one."

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