“Why spend so much on these gadgets?”: New York abandons its police robot

This robot of the “future” is already part of the past. The New York Police Department scrapped its surveillance robot after just five months of patrolling The New York Times Friday.

New Yorkers and tourists, surprised or entertained, will not be able to witness the launch of the K-5 with great fanfare in September at the largest subway station, Times Square, by the city's mayor, Eric Adams, a former police captain who was elected in program. To combat insecurity.

The machine, which looks like a cross between a mini-R2-D2 from the movie “Star Wars” and a vehicle, was stored in a warehouse, according to the New York Times, with an NYPD spokesperson noting that “K-5 has completed its mission.” Pilot deployment in the New York subway system.

Many damages

The robot, which is equipped with several cameras and a help-request system, faced a number of malfunctions when charging its batteries. He had to be constantly accompanied by a police officer and did not know how to get down the steep subway stairs.

“I said it was trash. Well, it looks like the wheels didn't even work,” Albert Fox Kahn, director of an association that fights electronic and technological surveillance, the Surveillance Technology Oversight Project, said in a press release.

“The number of crimes is going down, and the mayor has cut the budgets of many municipal offices, so why are we spending so much on these gadgets?” he protested, while Councilman Eric Adams is fond of new technologies (facial recognition, drones, GPS, robot dog) to fight insecurity.

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The number of crimes in New York rose after the pandemic in 2021 and 2022, but decreased significantly last year, especially in the subway.

Samantha Arnold

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