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Will this robot make America safer?

Martyn Williams | Dec. 5, 2013
R2D2 meets Robocop, but privacy advocates worry about the robot's implications.

"Are they going to sell the data and will the government have easy access to it to bolster its own biometric databases, like the FBI's Next Generation Identification database? Greater transparency is needed from Knightscope and similar companies less we get a repeat of the Google Street View issue where the Street View cars surreptitiously collected Wi-Fi data."

Li, the robot's inventor, said people shouldn't be afraid of the technology.

"Fear doesn't actually create anything," he said. "What can save lives is technology. What we want to do here is to give the opportunity to crowd-source security. So let's say we're going to push a red or yellow alert that there is something wrong in the environment; we're actually going to livestream all of the data coming out of the machine for everyone to see."

Knightscope will show the robot in public for the first time Thursday at an event at Plug and Play, a tech accelerator in Silicon Valley. Not surprisingly it is bullish about its potential. The company has beta testers lined up in both the public and private sectors and tests will begin next year, Li said.

 

 

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