- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 27, 2016

China has unveiled a first-of-its-kind crimefighting robot that deploys an “electrically charged riot control tool” in the face of security threats.

AnBot, developed by China’s National Defense University, debuted last week at the 12th Chongqing Hi-Tech Fair. According to China’s official People’s Daily, the robot represents a series of breakthroughs in key technologies including low-cost autonomous navigation and intelligent video analysis.

The robot, which includes sensors that mimic the human brain, eyes and ears, was launched to bolster the country’s anti-terrorism and anti-riot measures, the paper reported. AnBot is reportedly able to patrol autonomously for up to eight hours at a time.

“When people around AnBot face security threats, the robot’s control personnel can remotely deploy AnBot’s electrically charged riot control tool,” People’s Daily reported. “Within AnBot’s patrol area, people can also call for help or press the SOS button on the robot’s body to notify police of a problem.”

The launch was met with skepticism on social media, with many commenters referencing a range of dangerous robots in Hollywood, like ED-209 from the 1987 movie “RoboCop.”

“Surely this will end well,” National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden tweeted Tuesday to his 2 million followers.

AnBot is not the first autonomous security robot in operation: The similar-looking Knightscope K5 has been used in Silicon Valley since 2014, but they lack any offensive capabilities, ABC Online reported.

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