December 14th, 2017
Via: The Verge:
An animal shelter in San Francisco has been criticized for using a robot security guard to scare off homeless people.
The San Francisco branch of the SPCA (the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) hired a K5 robot built by Knightscope to patrol the sidewalks outside its facilities. According to a report from the San Francisco Business Times, the robot was deployed as a â€œway to try dealing with the growing number of needles, car break-ins and crime that seemed to emanate from nearby tent encampments of homeless people.â€�
Jennifer Scarlett, president of the SF SPCA told the Business Times last week: â€œWe werenâ€™t able to use the sidewalks at all when thereâ€™s needles and tents and bikes, so from a walking standpoint I find the robot much easier to navigate than an encampment.â€�
The robot in question is equipped with four cameras, moves at a pace of three miles per hour, and is cheaper than a human security guard â€” costing around $6 an hour to rent.
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