robots are being deployed to shoo homeless people in san francisco

robots are being deployed to shoo homeless people in san francisco

a robot produced by silicon valley startup knightscope is being used to shoo homeless people in san francisco. the device is being used by the society for the prevention of cruelty to animals (SPCA) branch in the area to ensure that homeless people do not populate the surrounding area.


the autonomous robot – known as K9 – works by patrolling a set area using a combination of lasers, cameras, a thermal sensor, and GPS, to alert security services of potential criminal activity. knightscope have created the robot as part of a crime-fighting fleet manufactured and managed to be a more economical option to security.

knightscope robots shoo homeless people
knightscope has created a series of autonomous security robots
image © knightscope



the robots can be rented out for $7 an hour – less than the average wage of a security guard in the area – and are 5-feet tall, weigh 400 pounds, and can travel up to 3 miles per hour. companies like uber and microsoft have used them to monitor their parking lots and offices in the hopes of preventing crime.


san francisco recently voted to cut down on the number of robots that roam the streets of the tech oriented city, which has seen an influx of small delivery robots in recent years. the SPCA has since been ordered by the city to stop using the robot to patrol the sidewalks outside its office or be fined $1,000 per day, according to the san franciso business times.

  • These things look like Daleks from Dr. Who.

  • Wait, what? The “society for the prevention of cruelty to animals” (very compassionate and righteous people by default) is shooing filthy humans away from their property, using robots. We are living in a bizarre SF movie…

  • is this the new line of Darlecks?

  • I’m very disappointed with designboom for covering a product which is so clearly Inhumane and without taste.
    I understand there is a lot of interest in robotic technology right now but this product shows no evidence of design thinking or human centered values.

    colin burrows

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