By 2016, there will likely be a 6-foot tall police robot patrolling the streets and handing out parking tickets. The Telebot, developed by Florida International University’s Discovery Lab, has been field-tested and is undergoing final tune up.
With a swiveling head and dexterous fingers, the humanoid robot is controlled remotely by a person wearing an Oculus Rift headset and motion-tracking vest, arm bands, and gloves. The voice of the remote operator is transmitted through the robot to the unfortunate citizen on the receiving end.
The menacing look of Telebot is no accident. Its design is one “…that can intimidate and display a sense of authority.”
Justification for this (let’s just say it) Robocop, is couched in appeals to sympathy, to help disabled officers and veterans “get back on the job.” The reality is that it introduces another level of intimidation to the increasingly militarized police state and brings us one step closer to a dystopian future where autonomous robots carry out law enforcement.