Create a free account to continue

MM: Creepy Robocop Joins Dubai Police; Room-Temp Metal Refining

In this Manufacturing Minute episode, a creepy Robocop joins the Dubai police force and room-temperature metal refining.

Creepy Robocop Joins Dubai Police 

In the past, we’ve covered a variety of stories that feature new and perhaps unusual experiments in robotics. This next one, however, is exceptional in that it’s one of the first to seriously creep me out.

According to reports from Reuters, the Dubai police have deployed the world’ first operational police robot. This RoboCop was designed by PAL Robotics, and it’s able to perform duties like patrolling busy areas, collecting evidence and even identifying wanted criminals with its cameras and facial-recognition software. 

However, if you’re like me and find this faceless, Jason Voorhees-like RoboCop with no mouth a bit intimidating, there’s also the option for citizens to report crimes by using the touchscreen on the bot’s chest. Or you could also push RoboCop’s SOS button and it will connect you to real-life, breathing human cops. 

When asked whether more Robocops would be patrolling Dubai’s streets, the government said they were optimistic about the advantages of having non-humans on patrol. Some of those advantages being the robot’s ability to work 24/7 with no breaks or risk of getting sick.

And, according to Forbes, the Dubai police force is hoping to replace a quarter of its human cops with droid cops by 2030.


What do you think about Dubai’s Robocop? Do you think this could be an effective or even feasible use of advanced robotics technology. Tweet me your thoughts @MnetNews or leave your comments in the section below.

Room-Temperature Metal Refining

A newly published study by Canadian researchers outlines an safer, more cost-effective method to extract the metals needed for high-tech devices and other industrial processes.

The collaboration between McGill University in Montreal and Western University in London, Ontario, used organic molecules, rather than more volatile compounds, to help purify germanium.

Germanium is widely used in electronic devices, but it tends to exist in nature as a minor component of rock and other materials. 

In order to use it, refiners generally use caustic materials such as chlorine and hydrochloric acid.

The researchers, however, synthesized a carbon-based compound that mimics the behavior of melanin, which can bind to metals in addition to giving human skin and hair their color.

The study utilized milling jars containing stainless-steel balls, which were shaken at high speeds to extract the metal without the use of solvents and at room temperature — making the process far more energy-efficient.

In addition to taking advantage of declining natural metal deposits, scientists said the system could also allow the metal in old electronics to be extracted and recycled.

Lab tests showed the process could work with numerous other economically important metals, including zinc, copper, manganese and cobalt.


Could this technology make electronics more Earth-friendly?  What other industries could benefit from more easily extracted and recycled metals? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.

More in Industry 4.0