In an era when a cup of artisanal coffee can set you back more than $5, New York City’s latest high-tech security measure comes with a surprisingly modest price tag. Mayor Eric Adams, flanked by NYPD officials, announced today at a press conference at the 42nd St-Times Square Subway station that the city will soon deploy K5 Autonomous Security Robots at a cost of just $9 per hour— less than the minimum wage.
“Public safety and justice are the prerequisites for prosperity — and we are committed to exploring innovative tools to keep New Yorkers safe,” Mayor Adams asserted, emphasizing the affordability and innovative nature of the new security measures.
The robots, leased rather than purchased to further save costs, come with cameras capable of sending live video back to NYPD headquarters. They will patrol Times Square’s public areas but won’t venture onto the subway platforms. To kickstart the program, a police officer will accompany the robot during an initial two-month trial.
Responding to questions about potential pranks or mischief, Mayor Adams pointed out the robot’s imposing build. “At 420 pounds, this robot is not a pushover,” he assured skeptics, warding off notions that New York’s notorious pranksters might attempt to tamper with the high-tech sentinel. Produced by Knightscope, the 5-foot-tall K-5 robot can work indoors and outdoors, with a top speed of three miles per hour.
The Mayor also proudly highlighted the economic sensibilities of the project, stating that at $9 per hour, “It’s below minimum wage, with no bathroom breaks required.”