"Many soldiers and security personnel are working in torturous environments beyond the imagination of ordinary people. Security robots will end the pain," he said.
But some human rights researchers have expressed concern over an authoritarian state using robots to help maintain public security. Flesh and blood officers might refuse to carry out orders if they felt conflicted.
A study of the deadly riots that broke out between Uygurs and Hans in Xinjiang in 2009 found some officers experienced shock from the violence that the mobs on both sides were carrying out in the streets of the capital, Urumqi.
Military researcher Ding Kui, at Shihezi University, and her colleagues surveyed more than 320 personnel involved in the operation to quell the riots.
They found that facing "sudden, massive casualties [of civilians], the officers and soldiers suffered serious trauma … [and later] kept reproducing the brutal scenes in their heads," her team wrote in study published in the China Journal of Health Psychology in 2014.
The anxiety and fear led to "depression, sleep disorders and emotional instabilities," the researchers said.
But police robots would not suffer such effects. "They don't feel tired and they don't know fear," AnBot project leader Xiao was quoted by PLA Daily as saying.
Frances Eve, researcher of China Human Rights Defenders, a non-governmental organisation, said the AnBot and similar devices "ultimately are controlled by human operators".
They could be used to discriminate against certain ethnic, religious or political groups in the name of counterterrorism or anti-riot operations, Eve said.
"Continued political interference in China's law enforcement bodies leads to the real worry that these robots could quickly become an Orwellian surveillance tool deployed against the population," she said.
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