Microsoft's Knightscope Robots Guard Silicon Valley


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Don’t be alarmed when you’re strolling along the roads of Silicon Valley and you happen to be stalked by a cold, heartless, egg shaped machine on wheels; it’s happening.

Microsoft, the multinational technology corporation, has finally decided to hire robot security guards that will serve to protect the streets surrounding their branch in Mountain View, California, according to GdgtArena.

As if it was invented by a bunch of nerds, the Knightscope K5 robots are equipped with measuring lasers, GPS, and heat-detecting technology. The robots predict where criminals are most likely to commit offenses as well as the probability of future crimes.

Wheeling around without the need of human control, the Knightscope stands at 5 feet tall and weighs 300 pounds. It’s installed with four surveillance cameras, microphones, weather monitors, a laser based range finder, odor detectors (just in case someone decides to defecate in public), and scanners that can read 300 license plates per minute.

Fortunately, the Knightscope K5 machines are not armed (yet.) The lasers in the robot are used to read and measure the distance in front of it, as well as utilize a GPS system so it’s aware of its own location.

The Knightscope K5 units gather information from government, businesses, and social media sources, running it through a sophisticated algorithm and predicting the likelihood of criminal activity in a certain area.

Knightscope (the company that makes the Knightscope K5 units) are hoping their obese robot will cut crime down to 50%. If you happen to be a criminal, the K5 will beep at you with extreme prejudice, sending a signal back to its control center where authorities will be notified. If you’re in danger, never fear, just run up to the K5 and slap its head for help, or speak to security over its intercom.

Four robots have been deployed, wheeling around in Silicon Valley, protecting the country like true patriots. Slashgear reports that the robots are meant to serve as patrol units, monitoring colleges, corporate campuses, parking lots, and shopping malls.

A Knightscope probably won’t kill you unless it somehow falls off what appears to be its only weakness as of now: steps.

"I noticed that a K5 in the distance had somehow toppled over the edge of the sidewalk onto the parking-lot asphalt several inches below. A couple of Knightscope folks were needed to pull it upright," Rachel Metz, a reporter for MIT Technology Review said.

Scared? The Knightscope official website assures us that we’re in good hands:

“Imagine a friend that can see, hear, feel and smell that would tirelessly watch over your corporate campus or neighborhood, keep your loved ones safe and put a smile on everyone passing by. Imagine if we could utilize technology to make our communities stronger and safer…..together.”

What could go wrong?