Standing nearly 2 meters (6.56 ft) tall and covered in dark armor worthy of Optimus Prime's evil twin, Kunming's new RoboCops are the last thing criminals want to see... because the formidable-looking street guardians can see them!
Actually, human police staffers at the nearest local police station are ones doing the seeing, via closed circuit TV cables running underground between the station's monitors and the surveillance camera in the robot cop's visor.
Costing up to 20,000 yuan ($3170) each, the statuesque sentinels add extra eyes to the Kunming police department's arsenal while abrogating the need to keep a human policeman walking the beat. Should the robot “observe” a situation that requires an actual, mobile police presence, the station can delegate those duties within mere moments.
The robots aren't just passive street-watchers: they feature a red call button positioned at what would be a human's navel. Pressing the button calls 110 (China's version of the 911 emergency phone number) and sets off an alarm accompanied by flashing lights.
As one might expect, the monitoring center set up to answer 110 calls made from the robots has reported numerous false alarms resulting from curious passersby and mischievous children who just can't resist pushing the button... the beautiful, shiny button, the jolly, candy-like button. Who could resist?
Prank calls aside, statistics released by the Kunming PD state that since “China's RoboCop” took up his duties, crimes committed in Kunming have dropped an astonishing 68.8%. They should make his motto “Dead or alive, you're Kunming with me!”
Is the all-seeing pseudo-Cylon the future of law enforcement in China? Will it continue to serve the public trust, protect the innocent and uphold the law? Time will tell but for now, the Kunming CCTV Kop has a special message for all the kids watching at home: "Stay out of trouble." (via M.I.C Gadget, Xinhuanet, and Nicktoons)