The robot, called Robo-Guard by many in the press, is equipped with several cameras, one of which is 3D, microphone, speaker and circuitry and software that allow it to roam autonomously in predefined areas within the prison. It also has software that allows it to analyze behavioral characteristics of inmates to help in deciding whether to alert the human guards. Its main purpose, according to the AFC, is to reduce manpower costs in prisons and to make a safer environment for both inmates and those that guard them.
So far, the project appears to be doing the same job of a combination computerized video surveillance and public address system, so the push to use robots in prison may be part of South Korea's effort to become the world leader in the robotics industry. Read more about it (and see a video) at PhysOrg. Link -via Ars Technica