BOSTON (CBS) – A unique looking addition to the Prudential Center had shoppers taking a second look on Thursday.
“Nobody knew exactly what it was,” said recent Northeastern University graduate and Prudential Center mall shopper Ana Hurtado.
“It’s got cameras, it’s always flashing,” described Mouhamad Alnajjar who works inside the Pru.
A new high-tech security guard named K-5 is now patrolling the mall halls.
“A lot of people were taking pictures with it, putting their arms around it,” said Alnajjar.
“I think it’s awesome. It reminds me a lot of Star Wars,” laughed Hurtado. “I actually tried to talk to it.”
“I’ve never seen anything like that and we need it in this day and age, something monitoring what’s going on out here,” said Boston native and shopper Rachel Silva.
Monitoring is exactly what the robot does. K-5 is short for Knightscope-5, named after the developer.
K-5 rolled out this week through a pilot program partnership between Allied Universal Security and the Pru.
It sends 24-hour information to a security command center like high definition images and video. K-5 also uses sensors and lasers.. to detect heat.. and even carbon monoxide levels.
“I thought it was amazing,” said Silva.
“There was this kid who just kept playing with it and the robot come to like hug them and I thought that was cute,” added Hurtado.
However, not everyone shared the same sentiment.
“I’m not sure what it was. I stood far away from it. It looks pretty intense,” Alnajjar said with a laugh.
Alnajjar is one of many employees working inside the Pru who received an email about the security robots.
“I thought it was going to be a small little creature but yeah it’s pretty big. It’s up to me so it’s probably up to here.”
Several K-5s launched in California a year ago. Massachusetts is the second state to test run the robot.
With a monthly leasing cost of about $8,000, Allied Universal Security says it’s designed to help out human security guards and not replace them.
“Oh never, never, we’ll never be replaced. God no,” laughed Silva.
The pilot program is expected to run until August 2017.