This story is not about the 1987 American cyberpunk action film, no this is the real thing and it is happening, if not on the streets near you, unless of course you live in Dubai. As the many avid aficionados’ of the film with recall, the plot is set in crime ridden Detroit in the future, and RoboCop centres on police officer Alex Murphy who is murdered by a gang of criminals and subsequently revived by the megacorporation Omni Consumer Products (OCP) as a superhuman cyborg law enforcer known as RoboCop. The film received rave reviews and was cited as one of the best films of 1987, it was followed by two sequels, a television series, a remake, two animated TV series, a television mini-series, video games, and a number of comic book adaptations and crossovers.
The real thing in Dubai can help identify wanted criminals and collect evidence and is the latest recruit to the Dubai police service. The robot policeman will patrol busy areas in the city, as part of a government programme aimed at replacing some human crime-fighters with machines. Now although the Dubai “RoboCop” is clad in colours of the Dubai Police uniform, there is no mistaking that it still looks like a robot. But, do not be taken in by that, it can shake hands, salute in military style, can read vehicle licence plates, is equipped with cameras and facial recognition software and its video feed can help police watch for risks such as unattended bags in popular areas of Dubai, which is of course a financial and tourism hub.
The wheeled “RoboCop” will work for 24 hours per day, won’t go on maternity leave and although Brigadier Khalid Nasser Al Razooqi, director general of the Smart Services Department at Dubai Police, commented it will not go sick either; well unless the circuits malfunction of course! Members of the public can talk to “RoboCop” if they want to report a crime, they can also communicate with it using a touch screen computer embedded in its chest.
Brigadier Razooqi said that people were not afraid talking to “RoboCop” which he put down to the new generations who are using smart devices; they love devices such as these using them on a daily basis many of course have seen the movie and television series, they just love it,
The robot was built by Barcelona-based PAL Robotics, the Dubai police programmed the robot to suit their particular purposes, and the cost has not been disclosed. It could be a long time before we see them on streets near us, but you never know of course.