Dubbed the K5 Knightscope, the 420-pound robot standing five-feet-three-inches was backed by artificial intelligence and was touted as a way to combat rising crime in the Big Apple.
During a press conference last September, New York City (NYC) Mayor Eric Adams described the robot as "part of the fabric" of the future of subway safety. He also described the $12,500 robot, which was paid for by forfeiture funds, as a "good investment."
According to the mayor, the robot was costing the city just $9 per hour – with its patrol shift lasting 18 hours at a time. "This is below minimum wage," he proudly stated at the time. "No bathroom breaks, no meal breaks."
The city had been leasing the robot from Mountain View, California-based Knightscope for a seven-month pilot program. The first three months of the contract involved the robot being prepared for patrol. The remaining four months allowed the NYPD to test it out, deploying it to patrol the 42nd Street subway station at Times Square. (Related: NYPD deploys robot cop to Times Square subway station.)
However, the robot's patrol duties are now officially over, with an NYPD spokesman telling the New York Times that "the K5 Knightscope has completed its pilot in the NYC subway system." The newspaper also shared photos of the robot, which was parked in an empty storefront in the station while gathering dust.
Before its decommissioning, the K5 could record footage while on patrol with its 360 high-definition camera. NYPD detectives could review and counter-check potential criminals on the department's facial recognition database following a crime. It also included a button that New Yorkers could press when they wanted to contact the NYPD – though it is unclear if anyone actually took advantage of the feature.
Patrons of the Big Apple's subway system were elated to learn of the K5 robot's decommissioning, sharing their sentiments about it to the New York Post. Many of them considered the robot as a waste of city money and resources.
Alexandria Reese, a patron of the NYC subway, said she didn't feel safer while the K5 was patrolling the transit system. "I think the robot is just to scare people," she commented.
Nick Linnear, an employee of the Metropolitan Transport Authority that oversees the city's subways, said he didn't think the robot was a good idea to begin with. "We need police, not robots," he stressed.
Longtime NYC resident Joseph Williams minced no words in describing the now-decommissioned robot. "It's b******t, straight b******t. It's a waste of taxpayer money," he told the Post.
Rafael Escotto, a resident of the Queens borough, questioned how much the K5 robot actually contributed to public safety. The robot, which according to him evokes the image of a giant vacuum cleaner, couldn't climb stairs. NYPD officers were tasked with serving as its human chaperones.
"Can [it] apprehend someone? Can [it] save someone who falls on the tracks? I wonder where the money goes," quipped Escotto. "I can't imagine one not cleaning."
While the NYPD did not share details of how effective the K5 was in addressing crime, it had been involved in several mishaps over the years. In 2017, one unit reportedly took a dive into a water fountain in a Washington, D.C. mall. A year prior, one K5 unit ran over a child's foot in a California mall it was deployed to patrol.
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Watch this clip of NYC's DigiDog, another robot reportedly deployed to help the NYPD with policing tasks.
This video is from the EARTH SHAKING NEWS channel on Brighteon.com.