SF SPCA uses walking butt-plug to terrorize the homeless.

The city ordered the SPCA to keep its robot off the sidewalks or face a penalty of up to $1,000 per day for operating in the public right-of-way without a permit.

"We weren't able to use the sidewalks at all when there's needles and tents and bikes, so from a walking standpoint I find the robot much easier to navigate than an encampment," Jennifer Scarlett, the S.F. SPCA's president, told the Business Times.

Once the SPCA started using the robot on the sidewalks around its campus in early November, Scarlett said, there were no more homeless encampments. [...]

The people in the encampments showed their displeasure with the robot's presence at least once. Within about a week of the robot starting its automated route along the sidewalks, some people setting up a camp "put a tarp over it, knocked it over and put barbecue sauce on all the sensors," Scarlett said. [...]

The robot is a K5 unit and has a top speed of three miles per hour, according to Knightscope's website. The units are more than five feet tall and weigh 400 pounds. They are equipped with four cameras, "each capable of reading up to 300 license plates per minute" and sending alerts when trespassers or people on a "blacklist" are in an area. [...]

Having humans replace the robot's 24/7 shift would be "cost prohibitive," though, Scarlett said. The robot costs about $6 per hour to rent, she said. The minimum wage in San Francisco is $14 per hour.

Gosh, that sounds "prohibitive". I guess they have "no choice" in the matter.

Previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously.

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12 Responses:

  1. Jamie, FYI your blog's referrer filtering appears to have decided that links from newsblur (a google reader-esque rss aggregator) are bots and give visitors from there the big "403 no robots" finger.

    Happy to provide any additional info that you need.

    • jwz says:

      Yes, that's because I'm fed up with seeing this shit in my web logs:

      "GET /images/scaled/768/2017/jlamazons-990x520.jpg%20990w,%20https://www.jwz.org/images/scaled/768/2017/jlamazons-990x520.jpg%20768w,%20https://www.jwz.org/images/scaled/640/2017/jlamazons-990x520.jpg%20640w,%20https://www.jwz.org/images/scaled/360/2017/jlamazons-990x520.jpg%20360w HTTP/1.1" 404 127474 "https://newsblur.com/" "Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; Intel Mac OS X 10_12_6) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/62.0.3202.94 Safari/537.36" 406908

      It's this same incompetent crap. Here is the bug report. In that report, they claim to have fixed it weeks ago. This is false. Go nag them.

      Let me know when there is some evidence that they have finally gotten their shit together and I'll un-block them.

  2. MattyJ says:

    You'd have to pay someone more than $14 an hour to tolerate having a tarp put over them, being knocked over and having bbq sauce smeared on their sensors.

  3. pat says:

    Hunh, I figured you would've had this in your "Previously" as well: https://twitter.com/bilalfarooqui/status/887025375754166272 (same model robot working as a mall cop commits suicide on the job)

  4. apm74 says:

    Not sure why they didn't go with the tried and true Astromech chassis.

  5. Yuma Tripp says:

    I, for one, welcome our new buttplug overlords.

  6. Bob says:

    If it was any other mega corp, they'd just use attack dogs...

  7. __ghost__0_0__ says:

    Wait, the SPCA? So they support "the safety and well-being of animals," but not humans? San Francisco is a truly strange place.

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