A robot produced by Silicon Valley startup Knightscope is being used to shoo homeless people in San Francisco. The device is being used by the society in the area to ensure that homeless people do not populate the surrounding area.
The autonomous robot – known as K9 – works by patrolling a set area using a combination of lasers, cameras, a thermal sensor, and GPS, to alert security services of potential criminal activity. Knightscope has created the robot as part of a crime-fighting fleet manufactured and managed to be a more economical option to security.
The robot can be rented out for $7 an hour – less than the average wage of a security guard in the area – and are 5-feet tall, weighs 400 pounds and can travel up to 3 miles per hour. Companies like Uber and Microsoft have used them to monitor their parking lots and offices in the hopes of preventing crime.
San Francisco recently voted to cut down on the number of robots that roam the streets of the tech-oriented city, which has seen an influx of small delivery robots in recent years.