File this one under “Who saw this one coming?”
When last we left you on the subject of New York City, Mayor Eric Adams and other city officials were busy touting what they wanted residents to believe was a state-of-the-art side-loading, automated garbage truck. The soon-to-be truck fleet, Adams noted at the time, would be the “future of NYC garbage collection.”
The truck, as it turned out, was nearly identical to those that have been used even in Podunksville and Hicktown USA going back decades, but in NYC’s case, their prototype truck was built after consultation with “experts” in Europe, so that made it extra special or something.
READ–>> Trashed: NYC’s Dramatic Debut of Side-Loading Garbage Truck Does Not Get the Intended Reactions
Fast forward a few days, and Adams has found himself in the middle of yet another embarrassing moment for his administration.
Back in late September, Adams introduced a Knightscope K5 security robot, which he said would help fight crime in the overnight hours, but which also had to be accompanied by two police officers so people wouldn’t try to vandalize it during the trial run:
Real life ‘Robocop’: NYC Mayor Eric Adams introduces “K5” robot to help combat crime
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) September 22, 2023
“This is a good investment in the taxpayers’ dollars,” Adams proclaimed during the debut which, like the garbage truck, was conducted with much fanfare. “This is below minimum wage. No bathroom breaks. No meal breaks. This is a good investment.”
But the video-taking robot did in fact need breaks, considering its charge only lasted for about three hours:
K5 won’t be pursuing or catching any criminals, as its top speed is 3 mph. Also, the robot needs breaks, because it can patrol for 2½ to 3 hours on a fully charged battery, then needs 20-30 minutes to recharge, according to Knightscope.
Though Adams promoted the machine as part of the “future” of the NYPD (sound familiar?), as it turns out, the robot has been sidelined and collecting dust for a couple of months even though it is still under a six-month contract for nearly $13,000:
The two-month pilot ended in early December. Since then, K5 has been in storage — even though the city’s paying Knightscope for a six-month contract on the robot, Adams spokesman Charles Lutvak confirmed to the Daily News on Friday.
Lutvak didn’t say why K5 was not redeployed to a different location after the two-month test run lapsed. He did say Adams’ administration is still considering deploying it in another location during the remaining two months of the contract.
In an unintentionally hilarious report on the status of “RoboCop” where they compared it to a “sad Wall-E,” the New York Times noted where it was now located:
On Friday, the white contraption in N.Y.P.D. livery sat amid a mountain of cardboard boxes, separated from the commuting masses by a plate-glass window. People streaming by said they had often been mystified by the robot.
A caption on a picture of the K5 in their story alerted readers to the fact that it “could not navigate stairs and spent much of its time plugged into a charger.”
It also couldn’t shake hands nor complete hand-heart circles because it had no arms:
— katie honan (@katie_honan) September 22, 2023
I totally get that certain types of robotic equipment can prevent police, sheriff’s officers, and members of the military from having to go into dangerous situations, and there absolutely should be more research and development on that front.
But “RoboCop” essentially being a useless prop that had to have two police officers nearby for babysitting purposes was a far cry from that, making it – in my view – another complete waste of city resources.
This wasn’t the first crime-fighting proposal from Adams that went over like a lead balloon with the media and critics, and it won’t be the last. Back in May, for example, as part of a plan to combat retail theft, one of the measures implemented by Adams was… social services kiosks, which he said would “connect individuals in need to critical government resources and social services.”
Eric Adams plan for shoplifting involves putting kiosks in stores to connect thieves with social service programs.
This was supposed to be the anti-crime candidate. It was only relative to the alternatives. Equity concerns have made Democrats pro-crime. https://t.co/Schx25qNKC pic.twitter.com/UA8StJ0w7i
— Richard Hanania (@RichardHanania) May 20, 2023
Related–>> ‘Jokes Write Themselves’: SFPD the Recipients of Ultimate Insult Amid Crime Woes Still Plaguing City