India’s first RoboCop: Kerala Police inducts robot, gives it SI rank

India has embarked on the high road of automation. Soon, when you enter the Kerala Police Headquarters in the state capital, you would be greeted by a robot. It has become the first police department in the country to use a robot for police work. CM Pinarayi Vijayan inaugurated the humanoid police robot at the police headquarters in the state. It has been named KP-Bot.

Chief Minister Vijayan welcomed the Sub Inspector (SI)-ranked robot into the service with an honorary salute and the ‘RoboCop’ responded with a perfect salute. The KP-Bot will be deployed to perform duties of the front office of the police headquarters which means that it will receive visitors and direct them to different places as and when required. Director General of Police (DGP) Loknath Behra said that the aim was to introduce technology into policing. “Women empowerment and gender equality were kept in mind while deciding on the gender of the first robot. Also, the fact that most front office jobs are managed by women was considered,” the DGP said.

Meanwhile, Additional Director General Police, Manoj Abraham, who is in-charge of cyberdome, said that the first robot inducted into the force is a woman. The visitors can directly interact with the SI-ranked KP-Bot. The robot is equipped with facilities to fix appointment with officers, provide them with identity cards and also open new files based on their grievances. Just like other police officers, the RoboCop is capable of identifying higher officials and greet them with a salute.

Its duties would include identifying and guiding a visitor to the concerned department. It would also enquire about the details of the visitors and record their complaints. There are plans to update the RoboCop with more features like face recognition and explosive detection. Last year the State Police Chief had announced during the Cocoon Cyber Conference that robots will be introduced in the police force. Following the announcement the project was realised by state police cyberdome and a Kochi based start-up, Asimov.