Dubai Unveils World’s First Robocop

Many believe that humanoid robots will one day replace human workers. Well, that time might be coming soon, as a life-like robot cop is already in service and part of the Dubai police force.

The Dubai police have enrolled a robotic officer! The new recruit is a full-size autonomous Robocop, standing 170 cm tall and weighing 100 kg; it is equipped with an emotion detector which can recognize gestures and hand signals from up to 1.5 meters, describes Ali Al Shouk, Staff Reporter, Gulf News.

This uniformed bot cop is not a “killer robot with a badge,” rather a “trigger-happy robot cop,” says Susannah Breslin, Forbes Contributor.

This new Robocop revealed at the fourth Gulf Information Security Expo and Conference (GISEC) in May at Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) becomes the world’s first operational robot policeman. It is designed to fight real life crime by helping the police force identify wanted criminals while patrolling the city’s streets on wheels. It is equipped with cameras and facial recognition software to help police officers identify and catch offenders by comparing faces with the content of a database back at headquarters to flag matches of criminals. The police robot is also able to broadcast live video feeds to Dubai Police’s command room.

Built by Barcelona-based Pal Robotics, and programed by Dubai police, Clad the robocop which harnesses Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence and the latest smart technologies, can use its functions to “read vehicle license plates and its video feed can help police watch for risks such as unattended bags in popular areas of Dubai,” tells

Brigadier Khalid Nasser Al Razouqi, General Director of the Smart Services Department at Dubai Police, said “the robocop is the latest smart addition to the force and has been designed to help us fight crime, keep the city safe and improve happiness levels.” This first intelligent robotic police officer can also transmit and communicate in six languages, including Arabic and English, as well as detect a person’s emotions and facial expressions.

The RoboCop’s wide-ranging skills include the capability to navigate its path automatically via its self-control and drive feature. With a built-in tablet device embedded on the robot’s chest, citizens on the streets can complete smart police services. Through the robot’s integrated system, for example, they can connect to real human cops by simply pressing its SOS button to communicate or report a crime.

What’s more, the “[RoboCop] can chat and interact, respond to public queries, shake hands and offer a military salute.”

The Government of Dubai is optimistic about the potential of future Robocop models where collaboration between robots and humans working side by side is warranted. Not long ago, this was material for science fiction, yet reality has set in to embrace robots to make operations more productive and truly 24/7. The benefits of a robocop are many, including no need for leave, sick leave or maternity leave. They can truly work around the clock.

This seems to be just the beginning of the robotic revolution in Dubai. The government is devising the implementation of smart police stations and robots, as well as the adoption of  artificial intelligence, aimed at having non-humans on patrol by 2030 and constituting up to 25 percent of the patrolling force.

“The age of the robots is no longer coming; it has arrived,” said Trixie Loh Mirmand, Senior Vice-President, Exhibitions and Events Management, DWTC. Humanoid robots, which resemble human body with legs, arms and facial features such as eyes and (in this case no mouth) are being developed not only to perform cop tasks, but mainly to be ready to serve the community in time of need.

The launch of the world’s first operational Robocop is a significant milestone for the emirate and possibly a step towards smart cities technology adoption in many more fields.

Dubai Unveils World’s First Robocop

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