Meet KP-Bot, India’s first robot police officer. On Tuesday, the animatronic-looking machine was granted the rank of sub-inspector. Its primary job will be to operate the front desk of Thiruvananthapuram police headquarters.
Pinaryai Vijayan, the Chief Minister of Kerala, welcomed the robot with a salute. According to India Today, the robot “responded with a perfect salute.”
KP-Bot will primarily serve as a symbolic gesture of integrating robotics into law enforcement. Aside from that responsibility, the bot will also be charged with sitting at the station’s front desk, recording complaints and directing visitors to the correct departments.
KP-Bot can also salute higher-ranked officers. In the future, the robot may be outfitted with facial recognition software and/or the capability to detect bombs
As Futurism reports, Assistant Deputy of police Manoj Abraham decided to gender the inanimate object as a woman. “Women empowerment and gender equality were kept in mind while deciding on the gender of the first robot,” said Loknath Behra, the Director General of Police. “Also, the fact that most front office jobs are managed by women was considered.”
The introduction of robots in the workplace may be unsettling to some. This is because, a study from the global consultancy McKinsey predicts that over the next 13 years, the rise of automation will force as many as 70 million workers in the United States to find a new form of income. This acknowledged, what are your thoughts on India’s newly sworn-in robotic officer?
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IMAGE CREDIT: Sarah Holmlund