A new species of law enforcement has hit the market. 5 foot security robots equipped with 360° camera view, microphones, speakers, thermal sensors, odor detectors, laser scanning, and the ability to monitor pollution in carpets are revving up to patrol Silicon Valley.
In fact, they already are.
These new surveillance drones are called Knightscope K5 Autonomous Data Machines, designed by Knightscope, a robotics company based in Mountain View, CA. As stated in the name, these drones move themselves.
They’re designed to patrol specific perimeters, navigate around people, monitor traffic, and monitor “suspicious activity” such as potential break ins and car thefts.
In other words, if you’re around one of these bots, somebody is watching and listening to you. While they are currently only being used at one location (the Microsoft campus), businesses are starting to line up for their K5’s, as Knightscope has claimed they have an upwards of 4 dozen clients on wait.
Knightscope says that as of now, these units will be patrolling select malls, offices, neighborhoods, corporate campuses, and college campuses. However, the company predicts that in the future, we will see more of their products patrolling law enforcement agencies, airports, schools, hotels, stadiums, casinos, auto dealerships, seaports, and more.
If we allow this new breed of surveillance to grow, we will without a doubt begin to see different models appearing on street corners.
Do we really want to live in a place that has automated drones roaming the street taking heat and odor readings from you? A 5-foot robot feeding video and audio to a stranger watching and listening to me whenever I’m near the unit doesn’t sound too appealing.
Please share this around and write to your local governments stating you do NOT want these drones in your neighborhood. This is the next step in the militarization and dehumanization of America’s police forces.
As founding father Benjamin Franklin once said:
“Those who surrender freedom for security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one.”