COULD A pound;50,000 robot with a metal tread and an integrated thermal camera system be the answer to playground security worries?
Staff in the South Korean capital of Seoul think so. They have hired a German security robot called Ofro to police their school grounds and scare away ne'er-do-wells, the Korea Times reports.
The droid, originally manufactured to police crowds during the 2006 World Cup, features a camera, microphone and a loudspeaker on the end of its periscope-like neck, enabling it to corner trespassers and give them a stern dressing down.
"Ofro will alert officials when it detects someone trying to seduce a student, for example," said a spokesman for the manufacturer. "Then, teachers will send a warning to the perpetrator through a loudspeaker. If the suspicious person refuses to comply, guards will be dispatched."
The makers are hoping that if the pilot project at a central Seoul middle school is successful, their metal minions will be snapped up by other headteachers.
We are assured that, with some tinkering and armoured guns, it could make the perfect supply teacher.