HPD, State Farm to Unveil Pricey Crime Prevention Robot?

This is how it begins. One minute, we're introducing a remote-controlled robot to students for teaching purposes, the next minute, we're introducing the NS-5 with its three-laws perfection...until some giant, sentient computer brain decides we're all too stupid to survive.

Apparently, HPD and State Farm believe we are three-laws safe because they are jointly introducing a robot designed to teach children crime prevention today. Boys and girls who named the robot (my money is on "Sonny") will be on hand at the unveiling.

In the release, HPD calls the machine "the latest member of the Houston Police Department's crime fighting team." It goes on to say it "has all the latest technology to teach crime prevention methods to children and adults in the community." Um, ok.

But, here's the best part. The robot cost $30,000 -- money that came from a Good Neighbor Citizenship Grant courtesy of State Farm -- which leads to at least two questions.

First, the robot cost $30,000? That's the price of a pretty nice car and all it does it teach crime prevention? And there's only one?

Second, there wasn't a better way to teach crime prevention with $30,000 than a robot?

The robot will make appearances at schools, community centers, special events and churches (?) according to the release. This sounds like the crime-fighting tool of the century...or rapid descent into the Matrix...or just a $30,000 waste of money. How much did McGruff the crime fighting dog cost?

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