A robocop on every Dubai street corner
Futuristic officer will boost security in city’s communities
He doesn’t need to eat or sleep and he’ll never drift off while on duty.
A real-life Robocop could be coming to your community soon after Dubai Police unveiled a prototype to support police and security guards in keeping the city safe.
This friendly officer goes by the name MEO and is able to scan the faces of “strangers” while recognising community residents.
Its developers and police are looking at bringing the bot into service as early as next year.
MEO – who costs Dhs1.8 million – is on display at GITEX Technology Week, where virtually every government department and private sector firm has some type of public service robot.
Bo Zheng, a Partner and Chief Robotic Scientist at ijourney, developed the robot for Dubai Police alongside the Chinese tech giant Huawei.
He said: “If you’re a stranger to the area, our facial recognition can stop you and politely ask you what you are doing here.
“MEO has a rotation camera that will send a video to the control room [who can] see who you are.
“If something happens you can actually press the red button and you can talk directly to the guy in the security office and tell him what’s going on. Meanwhile, a rotation camera will send video back to the control room so officers will see what’s going on, continuously.” Zheng said MEO could be on patrol soon. He added: “The technology is being demonstrated on the stand and will possibly be introduced in Dubai in 2017.” Also embracing robot technology is DP World, with the Dhs600,000 Wizo, developed by DigiRobotics. The multi-talented Wizo can be deployed to work as a nurse assistant in healthcare, a firefighter, or a waiter in the hospitality sector. But the stern-faced robot at GITEX will be deployed in security for DP World. “DP World is going to use this robot for security purposes,” said Svitlana Voznyuz, International Management Specialist at DigiRobotics. “It will patrol the parking station, as well as meeting and greeting guests and show them the way out and the way to the meeting rooms. “It is also very important for security because it has facial detection.”
Meanwhile, the Sa’adah robot also made its debut. It will be deployed at Dubai International Airport Terminal 2, where she will greet travellers and scan their facial expressions through built-in sensors. It will then feed back their traveller satisfaction with customs and visa services to a customer service desk. The happiest customer will be entered into a draw to win a mobile phone. Lieutenant Amer Rashid said: “You have to look at the camera, and smile as big as you can. See, now you are very happy with our border services.”