Just five months after surveillance robot K-5it was removed from the New York Subway the Times Square station due to its low effectiveness,
His short passage through the force is characterized by frequent stops to recharge his batteries, the need for human agents to accompany him, and his inability to climb stairs.
“The K-5 Knightscope has completed its pilot deployment on the New York subway network,” a police spokesperson said of the device, which was unveiled to great fanfare in September 2023.
Looking at the smart car and part Dalek, the”robot is equipped with several cameras and a help button for travelers at the city’s busiest metro station, which is also an important tourist spot.
“I say it’s a garbage can on wheels, but it looks like the wheels don’t even move,” said Albert Fox Cahn, executive director of the anti-spy technology campaign group the Surveillance Technology Oversight Project.
“With so much crime and the mayor ordering budget cuts to all city agencies, why are we spending so much money on these gadgets?” he asked.
New York Mayor Eric Adams has placed technology at the center of police strategy, passionately extolling the virtues of drones, facial recognition cameras, and robotics in the fight against crime.
In April 2023, the city police also introduced a $74,000 robotic dog with cameras, a two-way communication system, and lights to help in emergencies.
Also adopted by agents is a GPS tracking system that allows the police to place a tracker on fleeing vehicles, which eliminates the need for dangerous car chases through the congested streets of New York.
When crime increased across the country, we were told that surveillance was the solution. But now crime is falling across the country, including in cities that have banned these dystopian devices. “If we don’t have money to keep libraries open, we sure don’t have money to buy crazy robots,” Cahn said.
Adams recently talked about the decrease in crime in the city, according to official statistics, and attributed it in part to technology.