from the hack-the-animal-planet dept.
The San Francisco branch of the SPCA (the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) hired a K5 robot built by Knightscope to patrol the sidewalks outside its facilities. According to a report from the San Francisco Business Times, the robot was deployed as a “way to try dealing with the growing number of needles, car break-ins and crime that seemed to emanate from nearby tent encampments of homeless people.”
[...] The robot in question is equipped with four cameras, moves at a pace of three miles per hour, and is cheaper than a human security guard — costing around $6 an hour to rent. Knightscope’s bots are some of the most popular robot guards around and have popped up in the news in the past. The same model of robot previously knocked over a toddler in a mall and fell into a fountain in DC. Knightscope says its robots are intended as deterrents, and for providing mobile surveillance.
[...] According to the SPCA, attacks have already taken place, with Scarlett telling the Business Times that within a week of the robot starting its duties, some people “put a tarp over it, knocked it over and put barbecue sauce on all the sensors.” One Twitter user reported seeing the robot with feces smeared on it.