• Kyodo

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Hakata police here made a robot its chief for a day Wednesday as part of a campaign to promote safe driving.

The battery-powered T63 Artemis robot stands 157 cm, has two arms and can move independently. It has light and sound sensors, and can throw colored balls at anyone it deems to be acting suspiciously.

It is the first time that a robot has been assigned to head a police station.

In a ceremony at JR Hakata Station, the police chief, Kikuo Mori, handed a letter of assignment to the robot, which was wearing a police hat and campaign banner.

The government designated Fukuoka Prefecture and the cities of Fukuoka and Kitakyushu as special zones for robot research and development in 2003.

The municipal governments have conducted experiments on various robots, including those designed to help the elderly walk.

The T63 Artemis was developed by a Kitakyushu-based company.

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