A Chinese university have unveiled new Dalek style robots that are designed to electrocute unruly members of the public if they do not comply with orders given to them within 10 seconds.
Looking like something from the Doctor Who TV show, the Dalek’s are designed to help police keep members of the public in check during riots or protests by giving them an electric shock.
Its makers said the AnBot is a breakthrough in low cost robotics and surveillance and could play a key role in the future of China’s attempts to crush terrorism and public dissent.
Robotics researchers at Beijing’s National University of Defense Technology recently unveiled their crime fighting creation at the Chongqing Hi-Tech Fair, where they demonstrated its abilities.
At just under 4.9ft-tall (1.5 metres), it weighs in at 172lbs (78kg).
And while its cruising speed is a leisurely 1km per hour, for those perpetrators thinking of making a break for it, the robot can give chase at top speeds of 11 mph (18km/h)
According to Chinese news source People’s Daily, the police bot has sensors which mimic human eyes and ears.
Unlike its human counterparts, the robot has no need for rest and is capable of pulling an eight hour continuous shift before it needs a recharge.
It can be controlled remotely, but most intriguing of all are the maker’s claims of an ‘electrically charged riot control tool’, which can be deployed remotely by the robot’s controllers.
Xiao Xiangjiang, one of the researchers from the National University of Defense Technology, told New China TV: ‘AnBot has a high degree of autonomy. It could patrol, avoid obstacles, identify and charge all on its own.
‘He is equipped with non-lethal weapons to prevent and control violence by remote control. Moreover, he could be a service provider, which makes him more practical.’
The Chinese are not the only nation looking to robots to maintain public order.
In the US, researchers at the University of Florida have been working on a police robot which could carry at everyday law enforcement tasks.
According to the Florida team, TeleBot will be able to do simple police tasks like handing out parking tickets.
It is designed to be controlled remotely, and its multiple sensors and cameras mean its operator can use it to patrol the streets from anywhere.
A prototype of the police bot is estimated to cost just $20,000 (£13,700).