Knightscope K5 robot

"We can't afford to house the homeless but we can afford robots to punish them"

Readers reflect on the use of a security robot to deter homeless people away from a San Francisco building, and the resulting backlash that resulted in its removal from the street, in this weeks comments update.

Robocop: a security robot was employed by the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals to guard against homeless people, but it was met with anger by locals, who are believed to have smeared the device with feces. The event polarised readers.

"Who'd have thought the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals would go with a lifeless security robot to do their dirty work. Obviously, they don't mind being cruel to the human species," said David Gosselin.

"We can't afford to house the homeless but we can afford robots to punish them," pointed out Rthko.

"Money could have been spent on police to patrol the lawlessness," added Trumpagator, flipping the script.

"I love how people want to tell other people how to use their money. Maybe the homeless should clean themselves up, stop drinking and doing drugs, and get jobs. Then they wouldn't be homeless," responded BlackKween strongly.

But Greenish couldn't accept such a simplification: "If you ever stepped out of your own bubble and ASKED a homeless person how they came to be homeless, then you might realize how ignorant this makes you sound."

PsCargile thought they might have a solution: "Classify perpetual homelessness as a mental illness and build hospitals to house them in."

One reader took the opportunity to provide some light relief with a musical pun:

Was the SPCA right to employ a robot security guard? Have your say in our comments section ›


Mondrian Doha by Marcel Wanders

Bold as brass: The eccentric interior of Doha's Mondrian hotel, filled with bold patterns and furnishings by designer Marcel Wanders, got readers talking this week.

"My poor eyes, they burn!" joked Trent.

But Lorenzo was definitely a fan of the project: "Love it! Outrageous! A pornographic Disneyland!"

"That staircase is spankingly provocative," wrote Sofos Andropopulos, another admirer.

However, some readers, like Concerned Citizen, were on the opposing end of the spectrum: "Based on the photos, this place almost fits the legal definition of obscene, in that there is no socially redeeming value."

One reader seemed to be more concerned with how the design was ever signed off:

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Stay now: Dezeen footage of a section of the brutalist Robin Hood Gardens estate in London being ripped apart by a demolition claw tugged at the heartstrings of commenters, but some were happy to see it go.

"Very sad to watch. The building had a style and I believe it could be renovated into a good quality housing estate," opened Martin Benda.

"I never saw this exceptionally sculptural view of the building from this angle shown in the vid. Makes it even more sad," lamented Paul Puzzello.

Andrew was clearly disgusted: "How ironic that the destruction is watched over by the HSBC building. It would appear we can find billions for bailing out banks, but nothing to refurbish or provide quality housing for ordinary people."

But Atlas had harsh words for the estate: "This wasn't quality housing, it was a disgusting abomination."

"Nothing but nothing stands in the way of building more luxury flats for non-doms in London. The British have sat on their hands for years whilst public building after public building is sold for peanuts," added Marmite

Filiz Erol managed to sum up the situation in one word:

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Out of touch: the £750 million cube-shaped building designed by Kieran Timberlake to house the US Embassy in London came under scrutiny this week, as readers felt the building's style was out of date.

"I know it's new, but this looks old," opened Rodrigo Galván-Duque

"If American democracy looks like a parking building from the 70s, then bravo!" said Manuel Baena, sarcastically.

Keith Dougal suggested the design was a fair representation of US politics: "All show out the front but void of personality, soul and vision behind. Nailed it."

But Leo Moriarty felt the project was near perfect:  "I really wanted to find fault with this, but I can't."

This reader suggested that the design wasn't from the past, but another planet:

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