Bengaluru Police to introduce Artificial Intelligence-powered mannequins to fight crimes

The mannequins will not be permanent fixtures at a given place but operate in a hide-and-seek mode.

Published: 22nd February 2020 06:33 PM  |   Last Updated: 22nd February 2020 06:33 PM   |  A+A-


For representational purposes (Express Illustrations)


BENGALURU: In India's tech city, disruptive technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) will soon empower mannequins to fight crime, spot traffic offenders, fine drunk drivers and rein in criminals across the city, a top official said.

"We will soon have artificial eyes fixed in mannequins as cameras with a small AI-linked computing device inside them for facial recognition through a well-connected central server," Bengaluru Police Commissioner Bhaskar Rao told IANS in an interview here.

The mannequins, however, will not be permanent fixtures at a given place but operate in a hide-and-seek mode.

"The AI software will locate the culprits, tip off the police about the number of violations one has committed, count the traffic slips registered against the same vehicle, estimate the penalty amount and alert the police," said Rao.

On how futuristic dummies or connected police officers work, Rao said a drunk driver caught on M.G. Road in the city centre would be identified by the mannequin even at a far-away junction to relay information to the control room through facial recognition.

"A mannequin is an outer covering of the dummy police with its AI-powered heart for futuristic technologies. Sky is the limit for using AI and robotics in policing too," Rao pointed out.

Noting that global tech giants Google, Microsoft and Walmart, innovation centres and universities such as the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) are in Bengaluru, the top cop said as the science capital, the city was the place to invent and innovate.

As India's Silicon Valley, the senior IPS officer said Bengaluru was an ideal location for also pioneering modern police enforcement practices.

"If we can't do here (Bengaluru), where and who else can do it (pioneering work)," he said.

"Disruption is everywhere now. Everything is getting disrupted. I am also getting brainy people into the force, some software engineers as constables and police sub-inspectors nowadays," he said.

The city Armed Reserve Police force (CARP), which guard property and take care of weapons, has 37 engineers in its ranks as constables.

The senior Indian Police Service (IPS) officer does not want the intellectual capability of such brainy police personnel go waste.

"As I don't want the intellectual capability of smart geeks to go waste, I engage them to harness their potential. As they are brainy, some of them feel a police job is a good option," said Rao.

Observing that India was at the cusp of disruption as elsewhere in the world over, the police chief said as everything was getting disrupted, he was hiring smart people such as software engineers as sub-inspectors and constables.

Considering his mannequin brainchild as a beginning, Rao said though the road ahead was challenging. It was exciting.

"I have made a beginning, maybe the next generation officers will bring in more technology, including nano, machine learning and data analytics," he said.

Two international police departments have already studied the mannequin innovation of the Bengaluru police. American and French police departments visited Bengaluru police, studied the mannequins and took photographs two months ago.

"The Paris police also discussed the mannequins in their weekly meeting. It is not that we copy things from other countries, but they learn from us too. No harm in learning from each other," said Rao.

Rao is also looking for more customization of the mannequins, matching the police enforcement requirements.

"I have to store a computer inside and connect power to the mannequin. Suppose you put movable arms, if you add some robotics, then the shape of the whole thing will change," he said.

Rao said that a robotics-enabled mannequin can replicate everyday routine functions discharged by a constable, freeing him for better and important tasks.


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