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Image Courtesy of Knightscope, Inc. via YouTube
By Anthony Elio

Security Robot Fired From San Francisco Animal Shelter

The robots are coming, and they’re hungry for jobs. Industries such as cooking, bartending, and even surgery have a mildly murky future thanks to our eventual robotic overlords. We’ve known this for awhile now, with articles full of gloom and doom being constantly churned out, striking fear into the hearts of us simple carbon-based employees. However, it looks like at least one job will be OK: security guards. And writers that are extremely good at getting to the point.

The San Francisco SPCA, an animal shelter that assists with animal adoptions, training, and even youth programs, has recently laid off their completely mechanized employee, the Knightscope K-5 security robot. The robot uses lasers, cameras, and even a thermal sensor in order to sense crime and alert the police if needed. Think of it like the Predator mixed with Paul Blart: Mall Cop, a crossover I’ve personally been clamoring for for years now.

The robot, which had begun working for the SPCA in November, was meant to decrease the amount of crime in the area. According to the shelter’s president, the robot was successful, decreasing the amount of automobile break-ins and drug needles. The robot was also cost-effective, with Knightscope renting out their literal robo-cop for a mere seven dollars an hour.

However, there was eventually issues with this, as there was a considerable amount of backlash aimed at the shelter for disrupting the nearby homeless population, with some going as far as vandalizing the facility and sending threats. Additionally, the city of San Francisco threatened to fine the shelter $1,000 a day for letting K5 hit the streets without a permit. Frankly, I’m just disappointed we didn’t get to see the dramatic scene where K-5 is fired from the force 80s cop movie-style.

Interestingly, this isn’t even the first time I’ve written about the Knightscope K-5 line of robots. In simpler times, when the security robot still had a job, I wrote an extended piece detailing the various robots that are stealing our occupations. Well, it looks like I was wrong when it comes to the K5, and for that I apologize. Maybe a robot could have written it better.

Author Bio: Anthony Elio is the Assistant Editor for Innovation & Tech Today. Outside of writing, he is a drummer, podcast host, sandwich enthusiast, and amateur self-describer.

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Security Robot Fired From San Francisco Animal Shelter

December 18, 2017
By Anthony Elio

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