CHINESE RESEARCHERS have unveiled a robot security guard that includes an electrical riot-stopping device and a pretty obvious flaw when it comes to going up or down stairs.
News of the robot, which looks like a cross between a bin (not Dusty Bin, R2-D2) and a Dalek, is brought to us via China's People's Daily newspaper.
It is called an-Bot, and stands just under 150cm and weighs 78kg. It is capable of 18kmph, but cruises around at a steady 1kmph and rolls up on people who look like they might need assistance.
Battery life is eight hours, so it can't go further than 4km from a power source on an average day, and it does not appear to be able to climb stairs. We assume it can go downstairs by falling, but we do not know what kind of effect that might have on its operation, or indeed, security work.
An-Bot can apparently auto-patrol, recharge itself and electrocute the bejesus out of people. We do not know whether it can play Go.
The robot is the work of China's National University of Defence Technology and a robotics company in central China's Hunan province, according to the People's Daily and, we assume, people who live in bungalows.
"Wei Quansheng, an officer from the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau, said the robot guard can be used in many public places such as airports, stations and subways to help with police officers' anti-riot missions," said the paper.
Xiao Xiangjiang, director of the Institute of Electromechanical Engineering and Automation at the National University of Defence Technology, added: "Breakthroughs in low-cost autonomous navigation and positioning, as well as intelligent video surveillance, have contributed to the development of the robot."
Xiao explained that the robot, which we are calling Andy, can respond to emergency situations. Limited ones, we assume. µ
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