People are poking fun at NYC Mayor Eric Adams for trying to make a heart sign with the city's new armless patrol robot
- A robot is set to patrol the Times Square subway station for the next two months as part of a pilot program.
- A user on X spotted NYC Mayor Eric Adams' attempt at making a heart with the new armless patrol robot.
Social media users are poking fun at New York City Mayor Eric Adams trying to make a heart sign with a newly unveiled armless patrol robot during a press conference on Friday.
Adams unveiled the 5 feet 3 inches tall K5 patrol robot that weighs 400 pounds at a press conference on Friday.
The K5 is set to patrol the Times Square subway station from midnight to 6 a.m. for two months as part of a pilot program, and will be accompanied by a human officer, he added.
The unusual gesture was spotted by Katie Honan, a user on X — formerly known as Twitter — who posted a picture on Friday with the caption, "@NYCMayor with the robocop, which cannot make the heart with the mayor because it has no arms."
—katie honan (@katie_honan) September 22, 2023
Honan's post has since racked up over 11 million views, and drawn reactions from a host of other users poking fun at the gesture and the city's new patrol robot.
"We need affordable housing and the trains to run on time but instead, we get a robocop that can't even make a heart," posted one user on X. Another added: "Who could predict him making heart hands with a handless cop bot. His strangeness has no precedent."
One user posted a potential explanation for Adams' odd move with the armless robot — pointing out that the heart gesture appears to have become a near-daily habit for Adams.
—Jacob Rosenberg (@jrrosenb) September 22, 2023
The robot is able to record video that can be "viewed in case of an emergency or a crime," and would not record audio or use facial recognition, Adams said during the press conference with the New York Police Department.
He added that the robot was being leased for $9 per hour from manufacturer Knightscope.
The new patrol robot is already drawing some criticism. Albert Fox Cahn, the executive director of the nonprofit Surveillance Technology Oversight Project, told the New York Times on Friday that the K5 robot was a "trash can on wheels."
He added, "If the mayor thinks there aren't enough cameras in Times Square, then he's more out of touch than I realized."
For context, this isn't the first time the city has made a contentious decision to introduce robots to the streets.
In April, Adams announced that the city was reintroducing its Boston Dynamics-manufactured robot dogs — which cost $750,000 — two years after they were removed because of backlash from lawmakers and privacy groups.
The New York City police department and mayor's office did not immediately respond to requests for comment, sent outside regular business hours.
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