Computing giant Microsoft is one of the Silicon Valley companies that has hired robot security guards to protect and serve the streets around northern California’s technology hub.

The Knightscope K5 robot security guards are fitted with lasers, GPS and heat-detecting technology, and can predict where criminals will strike next and the likelihood of future crimes.

The 5ft tall robots are designed to operate without human control and are equipped with surveillance cameras and sensors, a thermal imaging system, scanners that can read 300 car registration plates a minute, and odour detectors. It patrols the streets using lasers to gauge distance and a GPS system.

The robots analyse information from government, businesses and social media sources to predict the likelihood of a crime being committed in a given area, and decide whether the alert authorities it if comes across anything suspicious.

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