Robo cops? Florida neighborhood tests machines to fight crime

'Deputy Metro' is a robot being used to help fight petty theft in one Pasco County neighborhood.

WESLEY CHAPEL, Fla. - A Tampa Bay community is taking a different approach to fighting crime.

Union Park in Pasco County is testing out Knightscope’s autonomous data machines.

10News viewer Bridget Wyss sent a picture of the robot that was roaming around her community. 

The robot K5 is a 400-pound, 6-foot tall security robot.

The company was inspired to create the robots after the tragic events at Sandy Hook and the Boston Marathon.

According to Knightscope’s website, it navigates autonomously by memorizing the routes where it's placed. It has many sensors packed inside, and cameras that relay audio and video back to a human supervisor.

A Knightscope representative told us the robots' infrared cameras are sharp enough to make out license plates from far away and can also identify smartphones down to the MAC and IP addresses. 

Metro Development Group, which has several communities in Tampa Bay, decided to give these robots a try and add extra security in their neighborhoods. 

They've also partnered with Pasco County Sherriff's Office, but for now this is just a trial.

“We feel like this is one of the best ways to fight crime. Just to detour misconduct. Just with his presence alone I feel like we are making a statement,” says Jen Austin with Metro Development Group.

This robot is the first in Florida, Austin tells us. 

They aren’t meant to replace law enforcement officers but offer an extra set of eyes.

"I think this will really help protect citizens and really give a second pair of eyes to our police department," said Union Park resident Karen Steele.

For more information about the K5, click here.

© 2017 WTSP-TV


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