NYPD Subway Robot Is Done Beep Boop-ing Around Times Square Station

February 4, 2024 0 By JohnValbyNation

NEW YORK CITY — The NYPD pulled the plug on its controversial Times Square subway robocop.

“The Knightscope K5 has completed its pilot deployment in the NYC subway system,” an NYPD spokesperson told Patch by email Friday.

Police said the robot is no longer deployed in the Times Square station, where Mayor Eric Adams held a splashy September news conference in which he promised it eventually join the “fabric of our subway system.”

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The egg-shaped, trashcan-like robot was assigned to patrol Times Square subway station alongside a flesh-and-blood cop for two months. (The New York Times, however, found little evidence the robot — now socked away inside an empty subway storefront — did much beyond being plugged into a charging station.)

Adams, a booster of bot technology, touted its cameras and button that allowed New Yorkers to call an actual human being for help.

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But the New York Times reported that

But others were various degrees of snarky and skeptical.

“Here’s fascist R2D2!” tweeted Council Member Chi Ossé.

Advocates with The Legal Aid Society, who have raised concerns that the NYPD’s myriad police robots violate a surveillance technology law, more or less said “good riddance” to the K5’s seeming departure.

“The Adams’ Administration continues to be distracted by false claims of high-tech solutions to age-old issues,” said Shane Ferro, staff attorney with the group’s digital forensics unit. “The NYPD subway robot is an unnecessary expense and public gimmick that serves no legitimate safety purpose.”

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