Chinese Shenzhen International Airport has employed robots to patrol one of its terminals, making it the first public place in the country to be so guarded.

The Anbot robots are oval-shaped and resemble the Star Wars ‘R2D2’ robot or the Daleks from Doctor Who, EFE news reported.

The bot’s face has a digital display and a high-definition camera to take pictures of travellers at one of the country’s busiest airports for analysis.

The role of these devices, for now, is similar to that of a security camera, but with greater mobility as they can move at speeds of up to 18 kph.

They are also equipped with a defence mechanism: an extendable arm that produces an electrical current.

AnBot was developed by a university in the central city of Changsha and may be used to patrol schools and banks.

The robots can also look for explosives, weapons and drugs and are priced at $15,000.