The City of New York and the New York Police Department recently introduced the Knightscope K5 security robot service to the public during a press conference on Friday, September 22. The robot cop is part of a two-month pilot program to support the MTA and improve safety.
“The NYPD must be on the forefront of technology and be 2 steps ahead of those utilizing technology to hurt New Yorkers.” said Mayor Eric Adams.
Though this pilot program is new to NYC, Knightscope’s technologies have already been implemented across other police departments in the country, including Los Angeles County. The company, founded in 2013, is a “leader in the development of autonomous security capabilities.”
For the first two weeks, the robot will train, configure and setup protocols by mapping out the Times Square subway station, in addition to patrol activities from 12:00am and 6:00am.
“We understand the K5 robot will generate some buzz and curiosity. Let me be crystal clear and dispel any rumors or concerns about this robot: It will not employ facial recognition technology,” NYPD Chief of Transit Michael Kemper said. “Any video collected will adhere to the same guidelines as that of any other technology in the NYPD’s current toolbox.”
The RoboCop weighs a whopping 420 lbs and stands at 5-foot-2-inches. An NYPD officer will oversee the new technology and remain present with the robot cop at all times.
“Today we take that notion of tried-and-true policing of assigning a transit cop to their post, and we bring that to a different level,” said Michael Kemper, chief of NYPD Transit on Friday. “It’s fitting that we’re near the theater district, because today the K5 is taking center stage. Welcome to New York City, K5!”
The efficiency and effectivity of the Knightscope K5 security robot service will be reviewed by city officials once the pilot program is up to determine whether it will be expanded upon.