China is one of the major growth markets for AI and robotics. Around 141,000 industrial robots were get sold in 2017, up 58.1 % year-on-year, and this week China unveiled its first batch of traffic robot police.
China’s first robot police have been put to work in the city of Handa in North China’s Hebei Province. The Handan Public Security Bureau announced the use of 3 types of traffic robot police in the ceremony.
A report in Xinhua quotes Zhou Zuoying, deputy head of the Ministry of Public Security’s Traffic Management Research Institute, as saying the bots’ deployment marks China’s first use of “robot traffic police.”
Each of the three types of robots was developed using big data, artificial intelligence, cloud computing, and laser-based navigation and all three of them will serve a unique function.
Equipped with intelligent cameras, these robots can spot traffic violations, give offenders verbal warnings, take photos and other additional functions to help with vehicle management and traffic management.
One type is a “road patrol robot” designed to look like a human traffic officer.
This robot resembles a traffic police officer in a yellow uniform and white hat and is capable of identifying drivers and take photos of illegal behavior through its automatic navigation system, as well as give reminders to jaywalkers in Putonghua, according to the Handan police’s Weibo account.
Another is an “advice traffic robot.” That one will post up in vehicle management stations where it will answer residents’ questions and guide them where they need to go. It’ll also automatically report any security risks or suspects to police.
The customer service robot is designed to provide information and answer questions from the public at vehicle registration centers. The robot automatically reports security risks and suspects to police.
The small, portable, remote-controlled traffic robots can help manage the scene at a road accident by giving visual and audible directions to passing drivers.
Li Huai, an official at the Handan Public Security Bureau, said the robots will have more functions on vehicle management and traffic management and will be on duty 24/7, news site hebnews.cn reported on Wednesday.
The robots will be on duty 24/7, Handan Public Security Bureau official Li Huai told Chinese news site hebnews.cn, but it isn’t clear whether that applies to just one of each type of robot or several.
This isn’t the first time China has deployed police robots, either — in 2016, its AnBot security robot began making the rounds at the Shenzhen airport, and in 2017, its E-Patrol Robot Sheriff began patrolling streets.
In recent years, more high-tech innovations have been applied to the police’s daily work in China.
During this year’s Spring Festival travel rush, police in many cities adopted facial recognition and robots to check tickets, search for missing people and provide passengers with safety advice.
More in AI