Crime-fighting robot attacked on the streets of San Francisco
Here is the reaction the citizens of San Francisco had to "K9" the robot that roamed its streets
K9 — a crime-fighting robot patrolled a homeless encampment in San Francisco when it was "fired" by locals who attacked it and knocked it over. Residents in the area of the enclave near an animal shelter in the Mission District—where the robot was taking its rounds — raged against the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) backed machine.
The robot was also swamped with barbecue sauce, smeared with feces and smothered by a tarp before been thrown over by an attacker—resulting in the SPCA calling quits last week—taking the crime-fighter off the streets.
The K9 robot circling the SF SPCA has drawn mixed responses. Within the first week of the robot's deployment, some people who were setting up a homeless encampment nearby allegedly "put a tarp over it, knocked it over, and put barbecue sauce on all the sensors,"
— i'm calling the coast guard (@1000tapirs) December 13, 2017
Smile, you're on camera! "K9" the security robot is patrolling the San Francisco SPCA https://t.co/8NUUV7aTVF— Mission Local (@MLNow) November 30, 2017San Francisco SPCA deploys robot security guard The 5-foot tall, 300-lb robot called K9 uses cameras, laser 3D mapping, GPS, microphones and license plate recognition software. https://t.co/tQSaYF8tj8
— Conenfoco (@conenfoco) December 14, 2017
The security robot, dubbed K9, was a way to try dealing with the growing number of needles, car break-ins and crime that seemed to emanate from nearby tent encampments of homeless people along the sidewalks. https://t.co/RPpBtGpm6d
— Julian Khan (@juliankhan) December 17, 2017
“Effective immediately, the San Francisco SPCA has suspended its security robot pilot program,” said Jennifer Scarlett, the organization’s president. “We piloted the robot program in an effort to improve the security around our campus and to create a safe atmosphere for staff, volunteers, clients and animals. Clearly, it backfired.”
I totally understand why "k9" was fired, but we animal care workers are prone to anthropomorphizing things, so I'm left with "poor lonely awkward freakish rejected robot. We didn't even have a chance to get you a goodbye cake" (hold the barbecue sauce) 😢https://t.co/jIn5DYUWrG— Jonathan L. Weiner (@JonathanRamen) December 19, 2017
Crime-Fighting Robot Deployed Near San Francisco Homeless Encampment… https://t.co/iV8k0IexmA #HollywoodUnlocked
— rnorthboy (@rnorthboy) December 17, 2017
The SPCA officials claim that the robot was made to patrol in that area primarily because two break-ins had occurred near the animal shelter and they thought having a moving camera would prevent future crime.
The "K9" was successful in clicking photographs, recording security footage and notifying shelter employees or police in case of an emergency.
Apparently, the reason behind people attacking the robot was their belief that the robot's objective was to get rid of the homeless - even though the organization backing up the robot denied it several times.
California - also known as the Golden State also has the largest homeless population in the US with an estimated 118,142 living there in 2016, as surveyed by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The company received hate messages in hundreds - threatening violence and vandalism against the shelter and carrying forth references to accusations that the robot target the homeless as "sensationalized reports."
Disgraceful K9 robot keeping homeless off the— Noel Sharkey (@NoelSharkey) December 17, 2017
streets in San Francisco. It has been shut down with a $1000 a day fine - yaaay for Christmas!! How dare they call it K9? I hope the Doctor sues them. @RespRobotics #SantaClaus #robotwars #DrWho https://t.co/0F3k4twKlA
John Alvarado, who camps near the animal shelter, admitted to the UK’s Guardian saying that, "We call it the anti-homeless robot." Lexi Evans, another vagrant admits - “We started feeling like this thing was surveying us for the police..that’s officially invasion of privacy. That’s uncool.”
Later his whole tent encampment was moved around the block outside another business.
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