'Robo-Camera' Goes 'RoboCop' on Some London Residents


"Stop! This is a restricted area!'

The statement is the sort of warning you might expect to hear from a robot guarding a top-secret facility in your average B-grade sci-fi flick.

But some residents of a housing development in England are reportedly getting it from a robot camera that -- in the process of surveilling their communal garden -- photographs them and threatens prosecution, and they aren't pleased, The Guardian reports.

As a result, the district council in London's borough of Camden recently apologized for the surly "robo-camera," the newspaper says.

"This is a measure that is meant to tackle antisocial behavior but it is antisocial behavior," a resident of the development, Jim Jepps, told The Guardian. "If we had a man in the garden telling everybody to move on and that they were in a restricted area, we'd call the police."

The camera, activated by a motion sensor, takes flash photos of perceived intruders at night, announcing: "Stop! This is a restricted area and your photograph was just taken. We will use it to prosecute you. Leave the area now."

The device really drives its message home by delivering it in what the Camden New Journal characterizes as a " 'RoboCop' American accent."

The Camden Council originally installed the camera, made by Q Star Technologies, in order to fight "antisocial" behavior taking place on the premises, reports The Guardian, adding that the council says that it will deactivate the warning message "as soon as possible."