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South Korea plans trial run of robot prison guards

Donald Melanson, @donmelanson
November 25, 2011
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This isn't the first time we've seen a prison turn to robots for a little assistance, but South Korea looks to be going a bit further than most with its latest robotic endeavor. The country's Ministry of Justice has announced that it will be conducting a one-month trial run of robot guards at a prison in the city of Pohang starting in March -- a project that's expected to cost one billion won (or about $863,000). "The robots are not terminators," as the university professor in charge of the endeavor told The Wall Street Journal, but rather monitors that will patrol the corridors of the jail and alert the human guards if they detect any unusual activity. Inmates will also be able to use the robots to communicate with the guards, and the folks behind the bots are apparently doing their best to keep things from turning into too much of a dystopian future -- they're now said to working on making the robots appear more "humane and friendly."

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