It looks more like a vacuum cleaner than Robocop, but this new “anti-riot” security robot is set to be deployed in public places to help authorities keep an eye on potentially unruly Chinese citizens.
Weighing in at 78kg and standing at 1.49 meters tall, “Anbot” is being billed as “China’s first robot security guard.” The system made its debut at the Chongqing Hi-Tech Fair earlier today.
“The security robot is capable of autonomous patrol, intelligent monitoring, emergency calls, auto recharging and has optional modules for environmental monitoring, biochemical detection and clearing explosives,” reports Xinhua.
With the aid of its “intelligent video surveillance,” the robot looks more like a roving spy for the state than a cyborg crime-fighter.
It also has the ability to detect when people are calling for “help,” which presumably means that raised voices of any kind will attract the attention of the robot while it is on patrol.
The robot, which can “react during emergencies,” will be “used in many public places such as airports, stations and subways to help with police officers’ anti-riot missions,” according to Wei Quansheng, an officer from Beijing’s Municipal Public Security Bureau.
Although the country’s Communist government keeps its citizens in line with a police state to rival any other, occasional outbreaks of social disorder keep the Chinese elite on edge.
Back in 2014, Chinese citizens savagely beat five government bureaucrats during an incident that escalated into a 1,000 strong riot in Wenzhou City, Zhejiang Province.
Although state media habitually attempts to censor such incidents, mass disturbances, riots and attacks on police have become more prevalentthroughout China in recent years, with tensions fueled by rampant government corruption, forced relocation of homeowners, and the huge gulf between rich and poor.
The potential for a massive economic collapse in China which economists have worried about for some time could also be the spark that sets off civil unrest throughout the country.
Hundreds if not thousands of people were killed during the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre after the Chinese government launched a brutal crackdown on student demonstrators.
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