We all know that robots make everything better. Somehow, though, I'm not sure the inmates of a South Korean prison will agree when robot guards start appearing next year.
These new robotic guards, that measure 150cm in height, are to be introduced to a prison in the city of Pohang, South Korea, from March next year. The prison plans to introduce them properly if the month-long trial is a success.
The scientists behind the robot have spent $850,000 on the new robots, with the intention of allowing human guards to spend more time rehabilitating offenders as opposed to working on more menial tasks, like night patrols. A host of sensors on the robots let them keep an eye on the behavior of criminals, and even the conditions in cells.
Speaking to the Wall Street Journal, Professor Lee Baik-chul of Kyonggi University, South Korea, said:
"The robots are not terminators. Their job is not cracking down on violent prisoners. They are helpers. When an inmate is in a life-threatening situation or seriously ill, he or she can reach out for help quickly."