Tag Archives: Knightscope

Real Life RoboCops…Almost

The new film RoboCop is back on the big screen. This time the part robot part human officer Murphy is closer to looking like a true robot thanks to modern science.  Although the film takes place in the year 2028 there are robots being used in law enforcement today.  Knightscope, a company based in California, recently unveiled a line of K5 robots that are ready for their mission as peacekeepers.

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key.

Poster for new 2014  RoboCop film. Photo- Movieweb.

Poster for new 2014 RoboCop film. Photo- Movieweb.

Excerpt: California company builds 5-foot android robocops  RT USA

“The local neighborhood watch may be beefing up its robotic arsenal if a new technology startup gets its way anytime soon.
In a bid to make local communities safer and give local law enforcement agencies more tools to fight crime, California-based Knightscope recently unveiled a line of K5 robots that it believes will predict and prevent crime with an innovative combination of hardware, software and social engagement.
The new K5 units have a look that resembles R2-D2 from Star Wars, but their casual design masks a highly advanced robot that its creators hope will drastically cut down on crime.

image from knightscope.com.

Image of a K5 unit from knightscope.com.

Weighing in at 300 pounds, the five-foot K5 can patrol a neighborhood and uses a built-in laser to form a 3D map of the surrounding area in 270-degree sweeps. Four built-in cameras, meanwhile, are capable of scanning up to 1,500 license plates a minute.
Data collected through these sensors is processed through our predictive analytics engine, combined with existing business, government and crowdsourced social data sets, and subsequently assigned an alert level that determines when the community and the authorities should be notified of a concern [according to the company’s website].

 Image of a K5 unit from knightscope.com.

Image of a K5 unit from knightscope.com.

According to Fox News, Knightscope already has multiple clients lined up to test beta versions of the K5 in 2014.
Inspired to take action after 20 children were killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, Knightscope CEO William Li is convinced that innovation in law enforcement is necessary to effectively make use of officers’ time and manpower.” Read more…

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post

Level: Intermediate – Advanced

Language Skills: Reading, writing,  and speaking . Vocabulary and grammar activities are included. The listening segment does not have questions, however, students may enjoy watching the K5 robots.

Time: Approximately 2 hours.

Materials: Student handouts (from this lesson) access to news article, and video.

Objective: Students will read and discuss the article with a focus on improving reading comprehension and learning new vocabulary. At the end of the lesson students will express their personal views on the topic through group work and writing.

I. Pre-Reading Activities

Analyzing headings and photos

Directions:  Ask students to read the titles of the post and of the actual article they are about to read. Then, have them  examine the photos. Based on these sources,  ask students to create a list of  words and  ideas  that they think might be related to this article.

Pre-reading Organizer By Scholastic.

Pre-reading Organizer By Scholastic.

II. While Reading Activities
Vocabulary

Word Inference

Directions: Students are to infer the meanings of the words in bold taken from the article. They may use a dictionary, thesaurus, and Word Chart for assistance.

  1. The local neighborhood watch may be beefing up its robotic arsenal.
  2. The  K5 robots will prevent crime with an innovative combination of software and social engagement.
  3. The five-foot K5 uses a built-in laser to map the surrounding area in 270-degree sweeps.
  4.  Four built-in cameras are capable of scanning up to 1,500 license plates a minute.
  5. Knightscope already has multiple clients lined up to test beta versions of the K5 in 2014.
  6. That prospect doesn’t sound comforting to everyone.
  7. This kind of surveillance technology has the capacity to collect personal information.
  8. In California, a recently introduced bill would impose restrictions on the use of surveillance drones.
  9. The proposal would ban the use of unmanned aerial drones.
  10. One  drone was dispatched without a warrant.

 

Word Chart By Education Oasis.

Word Chart By Education Oasis.

Reading Comprehension

True /False/NA-Statements

Directions: Review the following statements from the reading. If a statement is true they mark it T. If the statement is  not applicable, they mark it NA. If the statement is false they mark it F and provide the correct answer.

  1. Knightscope is a New York-based company.
  2. They recently unveiled a line of K5 robots.
  3. The robots weigh in at 1,000 pounds and can patrol an entire country.
  4. The new K5 units have a look that resembles R2-D2 from Star Wars.
  5. Four built-in cameras are capable of scanning up to 1,500 license plates a minute.
  6. The K5 robots can be used for private homes
  7. Knightscope only has 2 clients lined up to test beta versions of the K5 in 2014.
  8. William Li objects to using the robots.
  9. The goal of the company is to cut the crime rate by 50%.
  10. Marc Rotenberg is the executive director of the watchdog group Electronic Privacy Information Center.

 Grammar Focus

Sentence Scramble

Directions:  The following sentences from the article are scrambled. Have students unscramble each sentence. Students can find the original sentences in the reading (and Answer Key) to check their work.

  1. its neighborhood watch local arsenal robotic beefing up be The may.
  2. look a K5 units Star Wars from The new resembles have R2-D2 that.
  3. 1,500 Four built-in cameras, meanwhile, are capable minute scanning plates a of up to license.
  4. beta to 2014 the K5 Knightscope already has multiple clients lined up test versions of in.

III. Post Reading Tasks

Reading Comprehension Check

WH-How Questions

Directions: Have students use the WH-question format to discuss or to write the main points from the article.

Who or What is the article about?
Where does the action/event take place?
When does the action/event take place?
Why did the action/event occur?
How did the action/event occur?

Discussion/Writing Exercise

Directions: Place students in groups and have them answer the following questions. Afterwards, have the groups share their thoughts as a class. To reinforce the ideas, students can write an essay on one of the following discussion topics.

  1. The article states, “Inspired to take action after 20 children were killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, Knightscope CEO William Li is convinced that innovation in law enforcement is necessary to effectively make use of officers’ time and manpower.” How would you rephrase this statement?
  2. The group against using the K5 units robocops made the following statement, “Clearly, this kind of surveillance technology has an unbounded capacity to collect personal information that a single patrol officer doesn’t,” Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the watchdog group Electronic Privacy Information Center.” Do you agree or disagree with this statement? Provide reasons to support your answer.
  3. With your group members discuss reasons for or against using robots as law enforcement units. Share your results with the class.

IV. Listening Activity  

CNET News – Is this a real RoboCop?

The K5 robot, developed by Sunnyvale, California-based Knightscope, is designed to be a surveillance robot for law enforcement, private security firm, schools and anything else looking for an extra set of eyes and ears on the ground. The 5-foot, 300-pound robot can roam autonomously, sending back real time data about an area with technology that does facial recognition, radar mapping and 360-degree video. CNET’s Kara Tsuboi got a closer look at what makes the K5 robot tick.”

Directions: Have students listen to the video. Place them into groups and have students create questions they would like to ask the speaker. After, have each group draw a  picture of a crime fighting robot explaining how it would help fight crime.

ANSWER KEY

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