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Bob is the robot security guard you don’t want to mess with
For years we dreamed of owning a personal robot like those featured in 80s sci-fi films, but here’s one character we hadn’t expected to meet in real life – Bob is a googly-eyed robot security guard ready to lay down the law.
As a matter of fact, Bob is being tested by security company G4S in a three-week pilot, where his duties will include scanning and filming every room of its Gloucestershire headquarters. Bob can’t move independently, so running or arresting prospective offenders don’t fall under his job description.
Its main features involve informing his operators not just of suspicious activity, but also when things have changed since his last shift, like if an emergency exit is open when it shouldn’t be. The University of Birmingham researchers who created Bob didn’t aim for their design to replace human guards but rather assist them with tedious tasks.
Bob might not be very agile, but at least he’s still capable of informing others when he’s in discomfort –he can call for help in case he gets stuck, say, in between furniture. During his 15-day probation period, Bob will remain within the company’s headquarters while his creators observe whether he can survive on his own.
Bob isn’t exactly made from scrap metal or recycled plastic. He is part of a £7.2 ($12.2) million robot-pilot project, and if anything were to happen to him it would mean a lot of wasted money and research.
Bob is just one of the two robots produced by the project. It’s sibling, Werner is about to be sent to a care home in Austria, where he’s expected to not only guard the grounds but also to play games with the occupants.