Friday, December 15, 2017

The Robot Wars begin -- report from the San Francisco front

The very fine radio show As it Happens (CBC) has this report from the Robot Wars.

The area around the San Francisco HQ of the SPCA is very popular for homeless people who camp out on the sidewalks.  The other people who use the area are not enthusiastic about this.

Solution?  The SPCA fired its security guard who used to harass the campers ($14/hr) and replaced him/her with a robot ($7/hr).  This 400 pound  patrol robot goes around  flashing lights, making noise and scaring pets.

This "solution" has some people noting that if you lose that $14/hr job you are not likely to find SF's hot real estate market any more affordable and you may end up living in... Others say what's with an organization that is dedicated to reducing cruelty adopting such a tactic in a self-satsfied way: E.g.
 "Although we had already limited the use of the robot to our parking lot, we think a more fully informed, consensus-oriented, local approach on the appropriate use of these new devices will benefit everyone —whether it's on public space or in private parking lots...
Reports say that opponents of robot harassment have already smeared BBQ sauce on  the robot's sensors.

I hardly tink it will stop there.

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