Sci-fi lovers and futurologists may argue they could see this coming from a mile away but for most of us the idea of robot police patrolling our streets still boggles the mind (maybe even scares us a teeny-tiny bit).
A Dubai Police official has said that in four years, in time for the city’s Expo 2020, robots will be carrying out on-the-ground policing tasks that up to now have been the duty of, well, erm, human cops.
Whether these will include handing out fines for speeding and jaywalking, we’ll just have to wait and see! We do know however that their work will include interacting with people.
It was during the Gitex Technology Week in October 2015 that a prototype robot was first presented. He’s wasn't quite the spitting image of Hollywood’s Robocop but still pretty cool!
What we didn't know was when the police androids would actually start patrolling the streets of Dubai.
“We are in the final stages of identifying a company for the manufacturing of robots,” Colonel Khalid Razooqi, General Director of Smart Department Dubai Police, was quoted as saying by Emirares247.
Dubai Police are also working with Google and IBM Watson on other Artificial Intelligence ideas that can be used for security and police work in the city.
Other forward-thinking ideas that have already been approved by Dubai Police are the use of a mobile app to issue traffic fines and officers wearing Google Glass to visually report on an accident or a crime scene with livestream.
The news is in line with Dubai’s wish to be at the forefront of innovation and technological modernity globally
Last March, His Highness Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Crown Prince, announced that the first World Future Sports Games would take place in Dubai in 2017.
These will feature 'sports' like driverless car racing, robotic swimming, table tennis and soccer, running, wrestling, drone racing and a cybathlon (a competition for Robot-Assisted human athletes).