Robot can be used to predict crimes in schools

A crime-fighting robot was on the campus of the University of Texas in Arlington Thursday.

Knightscope K-5 is an R2D2-looking robot that stands 5 feet tall and weighs about 300 pounds.  It’s also fully autonomous, meaning no one controls it with a remote.

It was designed after the Sandy Hook massacre as a tool to detect crime in schools, businesses and neighborhoods using a variety of sensors like video cameras, thermal sensors, a laser range finder, air quality sensors and a microphone.

The robot can patrol within a geofenced area looking for anything that might be out of the ordinary.

“The machine has 360 degree video. We have two-way audio so if you have someone in distress and they want to reach someone in a security operations center they can push the button on the robot and talk directly to somebody in security. And then we have license plate recognition so we can look at a database of license plates looking for people who might be of interest to companies -- criminal trespassers, terminated employees. Or perhaps they want to offer up a service to their employees to prevent domestic violence from turning into workplace violence,” said Stacy Stephens, one of Knightscope’s creators.

Stephens also said the robot has the ability to detect people who perhaps should be in a certain area at a certain time.