Police robot ready for duty in Dubai

Dubai Police have revealed its first robot officer at the Fourth Gulf Information Security Expo and Conference. The robot, a customised Reem robot from PAL Robotics, is tasked with autonomously patrolling the city's malls and tourist attractions and uses the internet of things, artificial intelligence and other smart technologies to spot offenders using facial recognition.

People will be able to use it 24/7 to report crimes, pay fines and get information by using its in-built tablet. Data collected by the robot will also be shared with the transport and traffic authorities. Using cameras the robot can broadcast what is happening straight to the Dubai Police command and control centre.

“We are not going to replace our police officers with this tool,” said Brigadier Khalid Al Razooqi, director general of smart services at Dubai Police. “But with the number of people in Dubai increasing, we want to relocate police officers so they work in the right areas and can concentrate on providing a safe city.”

The government said the aim was for 25% of the force to be robotic by 2030 but they would not replace humans. A second Reem robot could join its counterpart in 2018.