Robocop is on duty in LA. What could go wrong?

Robocop is back and it’s not in movie theaters. It’s roaming around the Huntington Park district south of Los Angeles, fighting crime and protecting the citizenry. Okay, that’s a bit of an exaggeration. This thing looks nothing at all like Alex Murphy. In fact, it’s not even a bipedal humanoid robot. It looks more like a really tall and expensive Roomba, to be honest. But it’s monitoring the area with cameras and offering help to lost locals… at least for now. (CBS Los Angeles)

The Huntington Park City Council Tuesday got its first look at the newest member of the city’s police force — a robot.

HP RoboCop will be used to keep an electronic eye on public areas when human police officers are not around.

The robot is designed for outside use and comes equipped with 360-degree high-definition cameras that can feed live video to the department and also record footage for subsequent viewing.

Here’s a picture of Officer Robocop from its Twitter account. (Yes, the robot has a Twitter account because of course it does.)

Before you get too excited about following it on Twitter, it’s only tweeted twice in more than a month, so social media skills don’t seem to be its strong suit.

So is this the wave of the future? We were promised a cyborg that could flip over the vehicles of bad guys and shoot them out of the skies if need be. Instead, we got what appears to be a vending machine on wheels that acts as a mobile security camera. Granted, it also supposedly answers questions if anyone cares to stop it and ask. It can provide live video feeds to the police or store video for later, but that only sounds useful if someone is willing to commit a crime right in RoboCop’s immediate vicinity.

Here’s a brief video somebody took of the robot as it rolls around a park. It makes a creepy musical noise as it travels. You’ll notice that RoboCop was totally unable to escape a housewife with about five kids who blocked its progress and forced it to stand still while she posed the children around it for a picture, despite it yelling “Excuse me.” Also, at the very end of the clip, the robot shouts out (quite loudly) “Good day to you!” at someone walking about twenty feet ahead of it. The person turns around, looks totally frightened and just hurries away.