In a manner of speaking, the KP-BOT is India’s first RoboCop.
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If you visit the Kerala Police headquarters in Thiruvananthapuram, the chances are you’ll be greeted by KP-BOT, the department’s newest recruit. What won’t slip your notice is that KP-BOT is a shiny white humanoid robot assistant in khaki accents, wearing a constable’s peaked cap. KP-BOT was inaugurated by Kerala’s Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan yesterday, says a tweet by the Kerala Police.
According to a press release sent out by the Kerala Police, KP-BOT is ranked sub-inspector (SI) and is tasked with receiving visitors and helping them get to the department they’re looking for. In addition, it can provide visitors with fresh identity cards and open new files based on their grievance. KP-BOT is also equipped to facilitate a video call with a superior officer, if authorised. Lastly, it is capable of recognising its superiors and greeting them with a salute. At the inauguration, KP-BOT displayed its salute when the Chief Minister approached it.
KP-BOT was developed by a Kochi-based startup called Asimov Robotics Pvt Ltd in collaboration with Cyberdome, a technological research and development wing of Kerala Police. The robot evidently sports womanly facial features, including a subtle black bindi on its forehead. “Women empowerment and gender equality were kept in mind while deciding on the gender of the first robot. Also, the fact that most front office jobs are managed by women was considered,” said Loknath Behra, the Director General of Police (DGP) in a statement to India Today.
Though the police department’s newest recruit appears to have limited responsibilities (and capabilities), KP-BOT is expected to be a regularly updated machine. It’s expected to be updated with facial recognition and bomb detection skills in the future. Kerala Police’s new humanoid robot assistant is similar to the one employed by domestic airline Vistara in Terminal 3 of the New Delhi airport. Like KP-BOT, Vistara’s RADA is designed to provide on-ground assistance to passengers with a Vistara ticket.
Cover image courtesy: Manoj Abraham IPS
Honb'le Chief Minister Sri. Pinarayi Vijayan receives salute from the humanoid Police Robot, during the inauguration ceremony held at Police Head Quarters, Thiruvananthapuram. #keralapolice pic.twitter.com/bJfuapEQw5— Kerala Police (@TheKeralaPolice) 19 February 2019
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