Though it's not quite Paul Verhoeven's satirical vision of robotic police, Dubai's first Robocop has started its duties as part of a new police program.
The Robocop is a customised service robot from Pal Robotics that will be posted in malls and tourist attractions, and people can use the touchscreen embedded in its chest to report crime, pay fines and get information.
"Now most people visit police stations or customer service, but with this tool we can reach the public 24/7 and it won't ask for any sick leave or maternity leave," Brig Khalid Al Razooqi, Dubai Police director general of smart services, said in a statement.
The robot has built-in cameras that will stream video back to the police command centre. The next batch will be used to tackle crimes, and the police force has plans for a 3-metre tall robot piloted by a police officer from the inside for travel up to 80 kilometres per hour and carrying heavy equipment.
According to Al Razooqi, the Dubai police plan to add robots until they reach around 25 percent of the force by 2030, allowing the human members of the police to focus their attention on other areas.