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Robotcop III Set to Fight Crime in Hong Kong 215

Posted by simoniker
from the forget-jackie-chan dept.
Roland Piquepaille writes "There is a new cop patrolling the streets of Hong Kong and teaching children how to prevent crime. But it's a robot named Robotcop III, designed and built in Hong Kong, according to Channel Newsasia. Robotcop III can walk, dance, move in any direction, display videos and answer questions asked in Cantonese and English. The previous versions of Robotcops, introduced in 1988 and 1995, were imported from the U.S. and taught 800,000 school children how to fight crime. The promoters of Robotcop III hope it will do even better. More details and references are available in this overview including a photo of Robotcop III patrolling on Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) campus."
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Robotcop III Set to Fight Crime in Hong Kong

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  • by Eric Smith (4379) * <eric@NosPAm.brouhaha.com> on Thursday March 11, 2004 @04:39AM (#8529984) Homepage Journal
    better than ED-209?

    And hopefully they haven't programmed it with hundreds of conflicting directives.

  • by rune-bare-rune (74864) * on Thursday March 11, 2004 @04:39AM (#8529985) Homepage
    No, that's not it.
    What is cantonese for "Your move, creep", again?

    Rune -- Change is good, you go first
  • I want one (Score:5, Funny)

    by BillsPetMonkey (654200) on Thursday March 11, 2004 @04:40AM (#8529987)
    dance, move in any direction, display videos and answer questions

    My local copper just sits in his panda car eating donuts.
  • Hoookay...

    I give 'em about 2 days before they get sued for using such a similar name without permission.

    Cooper
    --
    I don't need a pass to pass this pass!
    - Groo The Wanderer

  • by baryon351 (626717) on Thursday March 11, 2004 @04:41AM (#8529994)
    Better hope no kids were scared by Dr.Who, cos that thing looks too too familiar.

    Daleks take hong kong!
    • I don't know; it looks more like a robot designed to get into a 25th Century gay disco. Seriously! (Well, not that seriously...)

      Flashy LEDs and a policeman's cap for a Buck Rogers meets the Village People effect. Plus, I reckon they were going for the well-built "beefcake" look with those (cough) sculpted pecs and square shoulders.

      And who's the other robot? Is that meant to be his cute twink boyfriend?
  • by Nplugd (662449) on Thursday March 11, 2004 @04:42AM (#8530000) Homepage
    this thing will fight crime by making criminals laugh to death?
    It looks like a bad episode of Lost in Space.
  • Japan is protected. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Channard (693317) on Thursday March 11, 2004 @04:43AM (#8530004) Journal
    I wonder if it pushes criminals down the stairs, and subsequently says they fell? Mind you, given the lack of legs on the robot, running down stairs is a sure fire way of avoiding the robot if they ever decide to convert this from a show and tell to an ass-kicking 'bot.
  • by MagicDude (727944) on Thursday March 11, 2004 @04:43AM (#8530005)
    Yeah, then can dance, but they can only do The Robot. Why couldn't these guys be in Japan? I'd like to see them on the DDR machines.
  • Policing HK has become a nightmare. The Chinese mafia has essentially taken over the islands and controls crime and legitimate business from the top rungs of society down to the street gutters.

    This is more of an acknowledgement of the lack of police power than some dream-like Robocop thing.

    What's more sad is that the romanticizing of the gangster lifestyle there has lured some of the best and brightest of HK into the underworld where there is more money to be made than in the legitimate world. The paral
    • I dunno about the gang situation in HK but I can tell you that rappers, and gangsters are not the same in america. Sure some rappers may start out as gangsters, but once you're in the public eye (and actually making some money) it's really doubtfull that you're going to be a gang member anymore. And american gangs of today don't have nearly as much money and power as the mafia and old gangs like that. Anyway I would think if the HK gangs are so succesfull then they'd be a lot like the mafia or mobsters b
      • by Anonymous Coward
        I'm pretty sure he means that the romanticizing of the gangster lifestyle is draining the two communities.

        Not to mention that the gangsta attitude is being picked up by some kids outside of the black community.
      • by Anonymous Coward
        there are "modern street gangs" in america that operate similarly to the old time mafia. funny enough, they are chinese. in the san francisco bay area, the chinese mafia effectively controls illicit gun sales and marijuana importing. they have some weight in cocaine as well, but nowhere near the capacity of their marijuana enterprise. the reason nobody ever hears about these groups is unlike the old time mafia who enjoyed spotlight, these groups operate in complete secrecy. for instance, if a lower member (
    • by xstein (578798) on Thursday March 11, 2004 @05:04AM (#8530090)
      Hong Kong is one of the safest cities in the world [peopledaily.com.cn].

      As a Hong Kong resident I can tell you I would have absolutely no reservations whatsoever about letting my 13 year old daughter roam the streets of even the darkest parts of HK at 3am alone. The only crime here is organised (not that that's acceptable), but the streets are absolutely safe.

      This robot cop is to be used primarily to educate youths on crime and the dangers of joining triad rings, not to actually fight crime RoboCop-style.
    • by sydneyfong (410107) on Thursday March 11, 2004 @05:50AM (#8530242) Homepage Journal
      (Troll? But since you're spewing crap discrediting to my city, I'll respond)

      Now where'd you get your ideas from? (lemme guess... HK movies?? The people who produce local movies are rarely well-educated people, and know nothing more than producing crap movies about made-belief, unrealistic gangster lives. All the other talented people in our movie industry go to Hollywood.)

      >> Policing HK has become a nightmare.
      Our police forces are very much in control.

      >> The Chinese mafia has essentially taken over the islands

      The only people hiding in the Islands are probably illegal immigrants from mainland China. Not to say they don't pose any threat to the local people, but they are not in any way organized. And the reason they are there is because there are so many small islands around, it's impossible to patrol them all every single second.

      >> and controls crime and legitimate business
      wtf? *Legit business? You're smoking crack. Hong Kong is a city with a International fame and has close links with businesses from all over the world. Surely you don't mean those businesses deal with thugs here?

      >> from the top rungs of society down to the street gutters.
      Street gutters perhaps. Top of society, no. Frankly, I've never come in contact with any gangsters before.

      >> lured some of the best and brightest of HK into the underworld where there is more money to be made than in the legitimate world.
      Most people who commit crimes here are anything but the "best and brightest". As for the money part, well, ain't it the major incentive for people committing crimes, as it always had been?

      Hong Kong might not be the safest city in the world, but it is surely safer than many places in the world. There is no major crime problem here.

      btw, I live in Hong Kong.
      • by Anonymous Coward
        It is you who is mistaken.

        Policing HK has become a nightmare.

        Our police forces are very much in control.

        The police are hardly in control. The police are corrupt, bought and paid for by the gangs. Those police who are not corrupt are not in a position to effect any change.

        That crime seems to be low is precisely because most of it is organized.

        The Chinese mafia has essentially taken over the islands

        The only people hiding in the Islands are probably illegal immigrants from mainland China.

        The
        • Care to cite where you got your information from? And when?

          And to explain how this would be different from an average city of similar scale? (we all know there is no such place with zero criminal activity where there is a dense population, the difference is on the rate and extent)
    • Corruption rankings (Score:4, Informative)

      by Hittite Creosote (535397) on Thursday March 11, 2004 @08:18AM (#8530604)
      The Chinese mafia has essentially taken over the islands
      UCLA Asia institute rankings of
      corruption [ucla.edu]. Note that Hong Kong is viewed as being less corrupt than Japan.

      Oh, and some place called the United States.

  • Robocop did [robots.org] in the third crappy movie [imdb.com]. ;)
  • okay (Score:5, Funny)

    by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland AT yahoo DOT com> on Thursday March 11, 2004 @04:44AM (#8530015) Homepage Journal
    I can't take any asian Robo-"Anything " seriously unless it is at LEAST 15 meters tall, with 6 missiles and a giant sword.
    A flame thrower would be nice, be obviously that could look silly.
    • Re:okay (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Monkelectric (546685) <<slashdot> <at> <monkelectric.com>> on Thursday March 11, 2004 @05:05AM (#8530092)
      yea when they highlight a robots ability to "move in any direction" you know its a pretty shitty robot.
    • Re:okay (Score:2, Funny)

      by psoriac (81188)
      In the photo in the article, it sorta looks like it's waving a giant flaming sword in a menacing manner... if you squint kinda hard and close one eye.

      • Re:okay (Score:2, Funny)

        by Felinoid (16872)
        In the photo in the article, it sorta looks like it's waving a giant flaming sword in a menacing manner... if you squint kinda hard and close one eye.
        And then poke that eye out....
    • I thought it said "Robocop" until I saw the picture in the article, and realized it was NOT the movie that was being released in Hong Kong. Thank goodness, because those were bad movies. I couldn't imagine Robocop teaching children how to fight crime..

      • I couldn't imagine Robocop teaching children how to fight crime.
        I may be wrong, but I think that was part of the plot in one of the films... Robocop was disabled from actually fighting the crime and limited to some propaganda/education role. The details escape me, since I saw the movies more than a decade ago.
    • by mwood (25379)
      "Remember what happened last time -- a flame thrower would've come in *really* handy!" -- Zurg
  • impressive (Score:5, Funny)

    by nmoog (701216) on Thursday March 11, 2004 @04:44AM (#8530017) Homepage Journal
    Robotcop III can walk, dance, move in any direction...
    Wow... thats 2 more things than regular cops can do!

  • ...to just let the schoolkiddies watch a Jacky Chan movie?

  • "Now kids, do you know that when one little robot touches another little robot's MIDI interface it's sexual harassment. That makes me a saaaad robot."

    Yes, yes, I know it's from a South Park Episode link to script [spscriptorium.com]

  • by Channard (693317) on Thursday March 11, 2004 @04:48AM (#8530034) Journal
    .. how they'd stop it being vandalized. Presumably it's not so good to have a cop that needs protecting itself, escorting around and generally stopping people spray-painting it etc. I wonder how much dried gum this guy accumulates?
    • If I were a criminal, I would steal the robot in a flash. I've seen quite a few designs for robot guard dogs / sentries / police etc and the main problem imho is that the value of them tends to make them more valuable than what they are guarding!

    • I knew a guy at school who managed to spray-paint his tag on a real cop (across the back of his body armour, during a rather rowdy demostration).Yeah sure, it took balls and a kind of self-destructive personality to attempt it, but it did show that it was possible. So even real cops are not immune.

      Would have loved to have seen that guy's face when he got back to the staiton and took his body armour off. "Why, those.... those pesky kids!!!"
  • I think one of the biggest problems with the HK police is the corruption levels. Recent surveys have shown that people have very little faith in the HK police, because of endemic corruption.

    like the story here. [mithuro.com]

    I guess one can reasonably expect the robot to be corruption free. But I guess they are using pirated software, so even that cannot be asured.

  • Yeah yeah, he can speak in Cantonese and English, but can he sing [angelfire.com] like the Sexual Harrassment Panda [celebritybattles.com]
  • Just wondering [imdb.com]...

    Or maybe the Hong Kong trademark laws are different and allow this; after all, China has its Tiempo tissues...

  • Do you wonder which language this thing will *converse* in? Cantonese, English, Mandrain?

    Maybe it is just some audio player, with some preset mechanical actions, in some look nice cover.

    I mean, how is it different from Honda ASIMO Humanoid [honda.com]?

  • Nemesis (Score:3, Funny)

    by BenBenBen (249969) on Thursday March 11, 2004 @04:55AM (#8530061)
    He better watch out for TED-209
  • Great! So when will we get Robocowboy, Roboindian, Robosoldier, Leatherbot and the rest of the Village Androids?
  • For starters, what cop is it modelled on, the one from the Village People? Not suprised that all it does is dance.

    So is there are credit card reader for it to accept bribes? So many other optional extras could be made available - black people detection and elimination systems, patronizing voice intonation module, JINI network to allow a gang of them to whale on an unarmed suspect etc.

  • An even better effect would be to open it up to reveal the little Chinese guy wearing the robot suit. So lifelike!

  • It might cost around HK$300,000 to develop and build, but the service it provides the Hong Kong crime prevention drive is priceless.

    Wanna add more drive to crime prevention? How about giving Robbie III here a Shaolin kung-fu expansion module complete with Tiger, Monkey, and Dragon Style add-ins, multilingual screams, grunts, and taunts like "You killed my brother... I will avenge you!"
  • Three observations. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Matrix2110 (190829) * on Thursday March 11, 2004 @05:10AM (#8530115) Journal
    Did anybody notice the cute radio and nightstick in its "Belt?" I am guessing these a non-functional for obvious reasons. Like I would want a nightstick wielding robot coming after me for RIAA transgressions.

    I can also say with certainty that this thing is controlled via a human. After seeing T3 would you want it any other way?

    Also the most creepy thing. Take a close look at its "Nose" where the camera is. Now take a closer look and think twenty years from now, I see a gun in that place. Almost looks like it now.

    Shudder.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    I know this sounds like a good idea, but I've seen what can happen first hand when you start to introduce robots into the crime-fighting world. Everything will go well at first, but inevitably the humanoid trapped inside will have conflicting emotions, and then all havoc breaks loose. Lets not forget the lessons learned from the past -- remember what happened to Murphy?
  • I'll be in Hong Kong in 2.5 months where can I find this robotic guardian?
  • It might cost around HK$300,000 to develop and build, but the service it provides the Hong Kong crime prevention drive is priceless. Like its predecessors, its main role is to spread anti-theft and anti-triad messages.

    Mean \while, the Triad is has spent HK$300,000 trying to develop a martial arts technique that can take out a 300 lb. steel-clad robot. No luck so far.

    The Triad's livelihood has been threatened by the robot's celebrity: organized crime has been reduced by 45% among school-age Hong Kong y

    • "Mean \while, the Triad is has spent HK$300,000 trying to develop a martial arts technique that can take out a 300 lb. steel-clad robot."

      Two strong guys snap magnetic grapples onto the machine, flip it on its back, and carry it away to a waiting truck.
  • Dance? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Is it some sort of benchmark for robots that they can dance? Its seems every new robot out there dances.

  • Answer to this question:

    What are its four prime directives?

  • Since it was first introduced in Hong Kong in 1988, the previous two Robotcops, both American imports, have taught 800,000 school children how to fight crime.

    school children fight crime? isn't that the job of the police, or am i missing something here?
    the article didn't go into enough detail it seems
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Fighting crime doesn't equate to policemen wielding guns and taking down dangerous criminals.

      It's in the sense of "reducing crime rates", for example, not to take part in illegal activities, look out for conmen, pickpockets, reporting crime etc. And now with the internet, online fraud, hacker (yeah, cracker, I know) activity, copyrights etc.

      (In HK) Scenes of policement wrestling with criminals on the streets nowadays are rare... I've never seen any except as TV shows or movies.
  • "YOU HAVE FIFTEEN SECONDS TO COMPLY!"

    Executive sycophant puts down weapon ...

    *BUDDA* *BUDDA* *BUDDA* *BUDDA* *BUDDA*
    *BUDDA* *BUDDA* *BUDDA* *BUDDA* *BUDDA*

    Executive sycophant #2: "Maybe we shouldn't have outsourced the code to Elbonia for *this* project ... especially if we were going to do the demo in the boardroom with live ammunition."

  • Where is Paul Verhoeven when you need him!? Whats next, Robots that drive cars! Matrix here we come, someone call James Cameron and that kid from the Wonder Years quick!
  • It could perform a musical. "Singin in the crime" or something...
  • Anyone else see this as "Robocop III set to fight crime in Hong Kong"?

    Now that would have been cool!
  • No robocop (Score:5, Informative)

    by Underholdning (758194) on Thursday March 11, 2004 @05:45AM (#8530220) Homepage Journal
    Before anyone jumps to conclusions, let me just clarify that this is not a robocop in the "must destroy man kind" fashion. This is more like the info boxes you find in airports. Only difference is, that this one can move a bit. Coincidentially, I was at the exact spot where the picture [weblogs.com] was taken last month, and I have no doubts that the robot can move around there, since the place is pretty flat. But I was also walking the streets of Hong Kong, and there's no way this robot can move, let alone navigate, on the busy streets of HK. I reckon this will pay visits to schools and walk around in the school yard answering questions.
    • by Dogtanian (588974)
      This is more like the info boxes you find in airports.

      My family was wiped out by a rampaging infopoint, you insensitive clod.
    • by Gubbe (705219)
      Don't be so sure. It's obviously big enough to contain an actual human being who drives the thing around all day.

      Oh, by the way, this thing is already equipped for movies: If, in a movie, it just "happened" to go rampant and start killing people and taking negligible damage from the gunships and tanks that attack it, the day can only be saved by our smart and brave hero (preferably a 15-year girl in school uniform) who finds the Big Red Button [www.ust.hk] (3.5 MB) behind its neck. (also faintly visible in the small p
    • Robocop [weblogs.com]
      Good god! It's weilding a giant ladle.
  • I, for one, welcome our new Robotcop overlords.
  • by PhotoBoy (684898) on Thursday March 11, 2004 @06:14AM (#8530292)
    DIRECTIVE 1 Serve the public trust

    DIRECTIVE 2 Protect the innocent

    DIRECTIVE 3 Uphold the law

    DIRECTIVE 4 Never oppose an OCP officer

    DIRECTIVE 5 Change name slighly to prevent copyright lawsuit
  • In soviet russia children teach robots.
  • "and taught 800,000 school children how to fight crime."

    "Stay out of trouble."

    Now all they need is a Lee Iacocca elementary school.
  • I saw the 1st one (Score:5, Interesting)

    by AmVidia HQ (572086) <gfung&me,com> on Thursday March 11, 2004 @06:34AM (#8530341) Homepage
    I was in HK elementary school, and I remembered the day the cops did their speech along with the cute robot. There were trivia games, and I remembered I got some duotangs and goodies. Those were the days ^.^

    I think things like these are great. Real human sized robots really catches attention of kids and leave a lasting impression. This should be an example for all to follow: the deeper an impression you leave, the more effective you are in educating and getting your point across.
  • Nice picture in the article. But could it stop me from stealing its police hat and running away?

    With those Dalek-like feet it has, I'll just run up some stairs to escape. Easy.

  • I can't be the only one here thinking "It's 2am and I need a couple of small motors ... hey Officer Robotcop, can you help me please? ... WACK! ... Enough spare parts left over to get me through the next few months and look at this cute little silly club." Nothing like creatively stretching out the research budget.

    Finally, an useful cop. Will the wonders ever cease?

  • Isn't there a joke about a dancing cop??? I can see the fear in the eyes of the criminals: "Look out boys, he's going to tap us to death."
  • Expensive? (Score:2, Funny)

    by jez9999 (618189)
    It might cost around HK$300,000 to develop and build, but the service it provides the Hong Kong crime prevention drive is priceless.

    I bet it's is - you couldn't get this kind of comedy from regular stand up!
  • then it'll be in the bargain bin in about 3 months for all of us to enjoy.
  • He's a robot cop patrolling the streets of Hong Kong. She's a eight-year-old school student trying to learn the ropes of crime-fighting. They fight crime!

    Try again! [epix.net]
  • ...robot spies a brick-wielding evildoer in an alley and subdues him by dancing while playing an inspirational video about our social responsibilities.

    (Why, yes, I *am* thinking of the police robots in Harry Harrison's "Stainless Steel Rat" stories.)
  • Robotcop III can walk, dance, move in any direction, display videos and answer questions asked in Cantonese and English
    Well, if that doesn't cover all the bases for the essence of crimefighting, I don't know what does!
  • what is that red flame-shaped thing that the robot is holding in his hand in the photo? some kind of strange kungfu weapon?
  • Oh no!! (Score:3, Funny)

    by SuperKendall (25149) * on Thursday March 11, 2004 @11:58AM (#8532104)
    Robotcop III can walk, dance, move in any direction...

    It's the arrivial of real life Cop Rock [tvtome.com]!
  • So, how long til Jackie Chan fights one?
  • But I see you guys got it covered.

    I'm gonna head over to a Microsoft thread to find a place to stick an awesome "Trustworthy Computing" joke I just thought up.
  • ...They better LoJack [lojack.com] the sucker.

    = 9J =

"Only the hypocrite is really rotten to the core." -- Hannah Arendt.

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