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South Korea Debuts World’s First Robot Prison Guard

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A prison in Pohang, South Korea is testing the world’s first robot prison guard.

Created by Asian Forum of Corrections in collaboration with South Korean electronics and telecommunications research institute and manufacturer SMEC, the 5-foot tall robot is equipped with 3D-depth cameras; a two-way wireless communication system; and a software capable of recognizing human behavior patterns and gauging human emotional state.

According to Reuters, if the robot proves to be effective, robots might soon replace human guards to keep prisons safe—which would eventually cut labor costs.

“The purpose to develop this kind of robot is to secure prisoner’s life and safety, and to decrease the workload of correctional officers in a poor working environment,” Lee Baik-Chul, chairman of Asian Forum of Corrections, told Reuters.

“By using the 3D-depth camera, it will detect every detail of actions happening inside through a window. So, when there is an unusual behavior, it’s going to analyze and report the problem to the control system. Therefore, correctional officers will run and arrive at the scene in time,” he said.

The US$879,000 robot is able to self-direct patrols, by following the navigation tags along the corridor ceilings, and can detect abnormal prisoner activity and alert its controllers.


Without leaving the control room, guards are able to control the robot with an iPad, and communicate with prisoners by using the robot’s two-way cameras and microphones wireless system.

[via Digital Trends and Reuters ]
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