Robots guard S. Korea prison inmates

April 18, 2012 at 3:48 PM
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POHANG, South Korea, April 18 (UPI) -- South Korea has begun testing the feasibility of using robots as prison guards by deploying them in an actual prison in Pohang, officials said.

The robots' initial duty is to patrol the halls between cells looking for signs of trouble, and if detected alert human guards who will take appropriate action, reported Wednesday.

Dubbed Robo-Guard by the press, the robots carry several cameras, including a 3D one, microphone, speaker and circuitry, and are programmed with software that allows them to move autonomously in predefined areas inside the prison.

The software also allows the robots analyze inmates' behavioral characteristics to help in deciding whether assistance of human guards is needed.

The robots' main purpose, the Asian Forum of Corrections said, is to reduce manpower costs in prisons and create a safer environment for both inmates and those that guard them.

The current test trial, using three robots, is scheduled to last one month.

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