South Korea, a nation with a self-proclaimed goal of being a leader in robotics technology has, through the Asian Forum of Corrections (AFC), begun testing the feasibility of using robots as prison guards in an actual prison in Pohang. The robots’ duties, at least initially, are to patrol the halls between cells looking for signs of trouble, and if it finds it, alert the human guards who will take appropriate action.
The robot, called Robo-Guard by many in the press, is equipped with several cameras, one of which is 3D, microphone, speaker and circuitry and software that allow it to roam autonomously in predefined areas within the prison. It also has software that allows it to analyze behavioral characteristics of inmates to help in deciding whether to alert the human guards. Its main purpose, according to the AFC, is to reduce manpower costs in prisons and to make a safer environment for both inmates and those that guard them.
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