Robot Guard
One of Knightscope's friendly robots guards a group of schoolchildren [].

Silicon Valley startup Knightscope has created robots that can replace policemen - and cost just $6.25 (£3.80) an hour to rent.

The robots, which are 1.50 metres (59.06 inches) tall and weigh 136 kilos (about 21 stone), are able to collect real time data and utilise predictive analytics to provide a commanding but friendly physical presence.

The automatons have in-built crime detection technology, and a camera which can relay any felonies to the police.

"When the robot detects a crime being committed, it alerts the police. Then the camera turns on and the footage will be public to the entire community." Knightscope chief executive William Santana Li said.

"We like to try and solve the big problems" Li added when asked why the robot had been created.

The robot comes in two principal models: the K10, designed for open spaces, and the K5, which is better suited to more enclosed environments.

"Imagine a friend that can see, hear, feel and smell; that would tirelessly watch over your neighbourhood, keep your loved ones safe and put a smile on anyone walking by your business", Knightscope said when introducing the robots during the recent Plug and Play Winter Expo in Sunnyvale.

Knightscope company was founded in April 2013 and has been already crowned one of three top start-ups by a panel of 101 distinguished Silicon Valley judges.