11/24/2011 11:22 EST | Updated 01/24/2012 05:12 EST

Korean Prison Robot To Help Guards On Night Shift

Your move creep. Prison guards in the Korean city of Pohang will get an assist from robots early next year.

Officials in that city will run a trial where robots will be used to help patrol the prison at night.

The robots are designed to walk the halls and monitor the prison for odd or violent behaviour, reports the Wall Street Journal.

“Unlike CCTV that just monitors cells through screens, the robots are programmed to analyze various activities of those in prison and identify abnormal behavior,” Prof. Lee Baik-chul of Kyonggi University told the Wall Street Journal.

Don't worry, the robots won't be terminating anyone, instead they'll alert a human guard to any problems. Prisoners can also use the robots to communicate to guards if there is an emergency.

The 1.5-metre (about 5 feet) tall robot looks pretty cuddly, with big eyes and rounded corners, something that you could use at a daycare and not to keep an eye on hardened criminals.

The project, which will run for about a month, will cost 1-billion Won or about $850,000, reports the Daily Telegraph.

"As we're almost done with creating its key operating system, we are now working on refining its details to make it look more friendly to inmates," Lee told Korean news agency Yonhap.

South Korea is quickly becoming a leader in robotics. The country has already deployed sentry bots with deadly weapons along its border with North Korea, a wobbly robot dog and robot teachers.

Not to be outdone, East Asian rivals Japan has also been breaking new ground with their robots. Engineers have built a robot that can ride a bike,

another one that can wash your hair, and a weird teddy-bear like thing that will poke you if you fall asleep.