We all know that the robotic force sweeping over the world is accumulating momentum. We oftentimes hear about robots replacing workers, maybe especially in factory environments. However, we will start encountering robots more and more as we move around in the public space.
Mistbreaker earlier this month reported about an increase in the interest of robots potentially encountering consumers and everyday people, such as the in-store robot OSHBot. Now, we will turn our heads and observe another prospect employee – the robotic security guard K5 from startup Knightscope.
The robots are designed to be experienced as friendly, but not too friendly. When encountering one by day, they seem kind of cute whereas night-time brings a certain futuristic big brother aura to the machines. The robots are equipped to notice suspicious behaviour which makes them fit to predict and prevent crimes. An example could be someone walking through a building at night, which makes the robot contact the security centre.
K5 uses cameras, sensors, GPS, lasers and electric motors. The battery lasts for 24 hours and the robot returns by itself to the docking station when needed. Four high definition cameras accompanied by a license-plate recognition camera and four microphones are onboard. The robot is also equipped with a weather sensor for measuring temperature, barometric pressure and carbon dioxide levels (isn’t amazing how many things you can afford to just “throw in” nowadays?). Communication is handled by the assistance of Wi-Fi or a wireless data network. Further, the robot is featuring an alarm (if somebody messes with it) and a call-for-help-button on the top of the head.
So are there any jobs at stake here? The US alone inhabits 1 million individuals within the security guard profession. The robot is developed to take away the monotonous and in some cases dangerous work of patrolling and leave the strategic decision making to humans. A robot is employed for a charge of less than half the salary of the generic security guard, so the offer might seem appealing to many entities scanning for possible cost reductions.
Knightscope expects to put the robots to work for several companies during the first half of the next year. Read more about the robot in the article from MIT Technology Review