The San Francisco SPCA (a Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), an animal advocacy and pet adoption group, has deployed an autonomous robot in an effort to patrol local areas for crime and deter homeless people from setting up camps along the sidewalks.
The City of San Francisco ordered the SPCA to keep its robot off the sidewalks or face a penalty of up to $1,000 per day for operating in the public right-of-way without a permit.
SPCA rents the robots for $7 an hour — $3 less than a security guard's hourly wage. Knightscope has over 19 clients in five US states. Most customers, including Microsoft, Uber, and Juniper Networks, put the robots to work patrolling parking lots and office buildings.
The K9 robot circling the SPCA has drawn mixed responses. Within the first week of the robot's deployment, some people who were setting up a homeless encampment nearby allegedly put a tarp over it, knocked it over, and put barbecue sauce on all the sensors.
One wonders what the human backlash will be once a vast portion of America's middle class realizes that it has been made obsolete courtesy of robots who can do its job faster, smarter, much more efficiently and for a fraction of the cost.
Green, A. (2017). Security robot that deterred homeless encampments in the Mission gets rebuke from the city. [online] Bizjournals.com. Available at: https://www.bizjournals.com/sanfrancisco/news/2017/12/08/security-robot-homeless-spca-mission-san-francisco.html [Accessed 19 Dec. 2017].
Robinson, M. (2017). Robots are being used to deter homeless people from setting up camp in San Francisco. [online] Business Insider. Available at: http://www.businessinsider.com/security-robots-are-monitoring-the-homeless-in-san-francisco-2017-12 [Accessed 19 Dec. 2017].
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