China has unveiled a robot designed to keep rioters and protesters in check -- and to zap them if need be.
According to the local publication People's Daily, the robot -- which looks remarkably similar to a Dr. Who dalek -- has been dubbed a "security intelligence" machine equipped with "riot control tools."
The "AnBot," measuring in at 1.5 meters high and capable of moving at 11 miles per hour, was developed by China's National Defence University.
The riot control device, manned remotely, also has an inbuilt range of sensors which identify obstacles -- such as people -- and can deliver an electrical charge if required. Citizens can also press an "SOS" button to notify police of problems.
"AnBot is able to patrol autonomously and protect against violence or unrest," People's Daily says.
Former US National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden, currently staked out in Russia after exposing the intelligence agencies' spying practices, sarcastically tweeted "Surely this will end well," when the invention was unveiled.
It is likely to be an opinion shared by many as yet another automated weapon in military and government hands, alongside armed drones.
You can see the robot in action in the video below.
Read on: Top picks