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NYPD reveals new ‘robocop’ for Times Square subway stations


The New York City Police Department introduced a new robot, named K5, that is designed to help the NYPD patrol the subways at night. K5 will patrol the Times Square subway station overnight.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams spoke on the robot during a press conference where he explained the robot’s function.

“It will record video that can be viewed in case of an emergency or a crime. It will not record audio, and it will not use facial recognition,” Mayor Adams explained during a press conference. “However, the K5 does have a button that connects you immediately to a live person that New Yorkers can utilize 24/7 with questions, concerns or to report an incident if needed.”

According to the New York Times, the robot is built with four cameras that will allow it to record video but not audio. It will not have facial recognition technology installed in it. NYPD Chief of Department Jeff Maddrey confirmed that the K5 uses artificial intelligence to provide real-time data to first responders. 

K5 was designed by Knightscope — a California based autonomous security company.

The robot’s design has been deployed to 30 different clients in 10 states, The Gothamist reported. K5 is used in hospitals, malls, airports and among other public spaces.

Despite its design to help enhance public safety, the K5 has been in situations in other cities where it required assistance to function. One K5 model was toppled and drenched in barbecue sauce in San Francisco, while another was vandalized by an intoxicated man.

While Mayor Adams expressed hope in the robot being immune to potential vandalism, the NYPD has already implemented a plan to protect the K5 from harm. Anyone who causes harm to K5 would face justice resulting in an arrest, NYPD Chief of Transit Michael Kemper said.

The NYPD’s unveiling of the Times Square’s robocop is yet another attempt at incorporating technology into its law enforcement culture. In early September 2023, the NYPD issued use of a drone on Randall’s Island in an effort to provide real time surveillance to help disperse a large crowd at a concert.

Previously, city officials revealed three new high-tech policing technologies all which included a robotic dog. Another device included a projectile based device created by StarChase that would attach GPS devices onto cars to track their movements remotely.

Shortly after the K5’s pilot phase is complete, the robot will patrol the mezzanine level with the guidance of a human NYPD handler. It will not patrol the platform level.

The mayor estimated that after two months of patrolling with a handler, K5 will be allowed to go on solo patrols.

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Jahlil Rush
Jahlil Rush, Production Assistant
Jahlil Rush is a Production Assistant for The Ticker.
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