The real-life RoboCop has arrived but failed spectacularly while attempting to deal with its very first crime.
The robot, which is more like R2D2 than ALex Murphy, was introduced to the public earlier this year with the intention being that it could monitor public areas and help citizens should they need any assistance or report a crime.
Huntington Park police to deploy @HPRoboCop to monitor public areas https://t.co/oNhopT2tnJ https://t.co/Y1Ow65KHc4
I was pushing the button but it said, ‘step out of the way’. It just kept ringing and ringing, and I kept pushing and pushing.
Instead of helping in any way, as Peter Weller’s character in Paul Verhoeven’s classic undoubtedly would have, the robot simply continued on its preprogramed route while occasionally pausing to tell visitors, “please keep the park clean”.
The robot’s alert button is not yet connected to the police department according to the local chief of police and the call reached Knightscope instead, the company behind the robots.
According to the company's executive vice president Stacey Stephens, the robot's mission is to be more of a physical deterrent to crime rather than actually preventing anything bad from happening.
Stephens is quoted by NBC as saying:
They could have any kind of grand thought about what the robot might be able to do, which could lead them to say, ‘you know what, I’d rather not risk it. Let me go somewhere else.’