NYPD security robot that patrolled Times Square subway station is no longer in use

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Friday, February 2, 2024
NYPD robot that patrolled NYC subway station is no longer in use
The Knightscope police patrol robot ends its pilot tour at the Time Square Station.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- The NYPD robot that captured the attention of tourists and locals alike has completed its test run in the New York City subway system.

The fully autonomous outdoor security robot, called K5, was introduced to New Yorkers at an April 2023 news conference announcing "deployment of innovative policing technologies."

Months later, K5 was deployed at another news conference, this one featuring New York City Mayor Eric Adams making a hands heart with it, but as the robot has no hands, it could not show any love back to the mayor.

"Eventually, this is going to be part of the fabric of our subway system," Adams said at the September news conference. "This is below minimum wage. No bathroom breaks. No meal breaks. This is a good investment."

The nearly 400-pound white robot was designed to operate without human handlers, but had officers assigned to chaperone it throughout its entire run.

Plus, the robot was unable to move past the block-long station mezzanine area, because it could not use stairs.

In response to the news, Shane Ferro, staff attorney with the Digital Forensics Unite at the Legal Aid Society, released a statement.

"The Adams' Administration continues to be distracted by false claims of high-tech solutions to age-old issues. The NYPD subway robot is an unnecessary expense and public gimmick that serves no legitimate safety purpose," Ferro said.

Last June, the Legal Aid Society called on officials to investigate the Adams Administration's rollout of new surveillance technologies, like the subway robot, DigiDog and others.

The city had been leasing the robot from Knightscope and is now reviewing options for the robot's next deployment.

ALSO READ | School employees at New Jersey high school save sophomore when his heart stops beating

CeFaan Kim has the story.


* Get Eyewitness News Delivered

* More New York City news

* Send us a news tip

* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts

* Follow us on YouTube

Submit a tip or story idea to Eyewitness News

Have a breaking news tip or an idea for a story we should cover? Send it to Eyewitness News using the form below. If attaching a video or photo, terms of use apply.