A petrol station in San Francisco has employed a security robot to try and combat a spate of crimes in the area.
The Knightscope K5 robot has been put to work at the Shell station on Eighth and Harrison Streets in SoMa in response to growing crime in the area. According to San Francisco Police Department’s live crimes tracker, there have been 134 crimes within a quarter mile of Eighth and Harrison in the past month, including assaults, vehicle break ins and thefts.
Although it’s unlikely the robot will be able to catch any criminals, with its top speed just 3mph, it’s been implemented to act as a deterrent, warning criminals they’re being watched and could be identified by police is they look suspicious.
The robot is being tracked on a YouTube livestream by San Fran local Brian King, who decided to track the robots actions, as well as seeing whether it’s deterring criminals in the area.
“People seemed interested and pulled up some stories about bots being killed on duty, so I put up a livestream to capture any challenges the robot might face,” he said.
“Last night the bot was continuously playing a short loop of atmospheric Brian Eno-sounding tones. The employees had no idea how to turn down the volume, but told me that the robot helped with the homeless.”
However, it seems the robot is quite a hit with locals, with many posing with it in selfies and posting them on social media. At least its very awareness could deter criminals, even if it’s not able to physically fight crime.