By Peter Holley.
Published in The Washington Post.
Like so many classic Western anti-heroes before him, he rolled (literally) into town with a singular goal in mind: cleaning up the streets, which had become a gritty hotbed of harassment, vandalism, break-ins and grift. The only difference was that he was a slow-moving, 400-pound robot with a penchant for snapping hundreds of photos a minute without people’s permission, and this was San Francisco’s Mission District in 2017. What could go wrong? Quite a bit, as it turns out.
In the past month, his first on the job, “K-9″ — a 5-foot-tall, 3-foot-wide K5 Autonomous Data Machine that can be rented for $6 an hour from Silicon Valley start-up Knightscope — was battered with barbecue sauce, allegedly smeared with feces, covered by a tarp and nearly toppled by an attacker…
Image from Knightscope.