Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. 24/7 Space News .

Subscribe to our free daily newsletters

Mishap doesn't dampen enthusiasm for security robots
By Rob Lever
Washington (AFP) Aug 3, 2017

On his first day at work as a security guard, Steve was greeted warmly, drawing attention from passersby, including some taking selfies with him at the tony retail-residential complex he patrolled. Then he fell into the fountain.

Steve was a security robot employed by the Washington Harbour center in the Georgetown district of the US capital.

According to some tech watchers, robots like Steve herald a new era for intelligent machines assisting in crime prevention and law enforcement.

Steve's mishap in mid-July set of a flurry of reaction on social media, with some saying the robot had "drowned" or committed suicide.

But Steve turned up on Twitter to debunk the fake news, tweeting, "The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated."

Still, he had to be sent back to his Silicon Valley headquarters. And he was replaced by his "sibling" Rosie, who has resumed patrols in the complex.

Steve and Rosie are produced by the California tech startup Knightscope, which has raised some $17 million and includes a team with experience in robotics, law enforcement, artificial intelligence and the automotive sector.

- Extra robot eyes -

At Washington Harbour, property manager Allison Johnson of MRP Realty said residents and tenants appeared happy to see Steve and Rosie.

"It's nice to have extra robot eyes on the property," she said. "There are indications this will be a great addition to the security team."

Knightscope was founded in response to the 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut and the 2013 deadly bomb attack near the finish line of the Boston race, according to the company's website.

The company claims its robots are not intended to replace humans but to help security and law enforcement be more effective.

The robots are equipped with a 360-degree camera, thermal imaging, automatic license plate recognition, directional microphones, proximity sensors and other technology.

Their "anomaly detection software" is designed to determine when there is a threat, and alert appropriate authorities.

Knightscope has deployed its five-foot (1.5 meter) tall outdoor K5 robots like Steve and Rosie and the smaller indoor K3 robots at malls and other businesses under a partnership with the security firms Securitas and Allied Universal.

Kightscope -- which declined to comment beyond its issued statements due to a pending public share offering -- expects it can take a bite out of crime and reduce security costs as well. It charges clients an average of $7 per hour, according to its regulatory filing.

A small number of rivals are also entering the field.

Fellow Silicon Valley startup Cobalt Robotics has begun delivering indoor security robots to businesses in California, primarily for security during nights and weekends.

- 'Computational intelligence' -

The robots "have the computational intelligence of an autonomous car but for indoor security," says Travis Deyle, Cobalt's co-founder and chief executive and a former engineer at Google X.

Deyle said the Cobalt robots can be deployed as a fleet in a building or complex and monitored at a control station.

"They are looking for things that shouldn't be there, for leaks. When it detects something, it flags a human pilot."

Deyle said the sector is "at the dawn" and poised for expansion, benefiting from the development of low-cost sensors, good wireless connectivity and advances in artificial intelligence.

"Everything is coming together" for the robot sector, he said. "We're excited about where this can go."

Others in the sector include Colorado-based Gamma 2 Robotics, which aims at warehouses, data centers, manufacturing facilities and retail stores, and California-based SMP Robotics, which makes outdoor robots and is marketing in Brazil, France, Japan, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates.

"The economics of these things is becoming cheaper," said JP Gownder, an analyst who follows robotics for Forrester Research.

"We're going to see growth of purpose-built robots that can do specific tasks."

Gownder said robots offer several advantages over human security guards.

"They don't experience security guard fatigue," he said.

"Security guard work is challenging because, mentally, very little is happening until it happens. Artificial intelligence can make assessments (on threats) and flag them to a human operator."

Watch out Messi, here come the footballers at RoboCup
Nagoya, Japan (AFP) July 30, 2017
With steely focus, player number 3 scored a stunning opening goal in the first few minutes of the high-stakes football match between a dominant Bordeaux and their plucky Chinese opponents. But as the crowds cheered, the pint-sized player, known as Arya, showed none of the customary swagger of triumphant strikers. In fact, robot number 3 and its teammates showed no emotion at all as they cont ... read more

Related Links
All about the robots on Earth and beyond!

Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once

credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly

paypal only

Comment using your Disqus, Facebook, Google or Twitter login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

NASA Offers Space Station as Catalyst for Discovery in Washington

Let's cut them off from access to Space

Astronauts gear up for space with tough Russian training

Astronauts grow cucumbers in space to help scientists understand root growth

ISRO Develops Ship-Based Antenna System to Track Satellite Launches

India looks to more launches with new facility from 2018

Sea Launch to be modernized for Russia's Soyuz-5 carrier rocket

Navy completes testing fixes on electro-magnetic launch systems

For Moratorium on Sending Commands to Mars, Blame the Sun

Tributes to wetter times on Mars

Opportunity will spend three weeks at current location due to Solar Conjunction

Curiosity Mars Rover Begins Study of Ridge Destination

China develops sea launches to boost space commerce

Chinese satellite Zhongxing-9A enters preset orbit

Chinese Space Program: From Setback, to Manned Flights, to the Moon

Chinese Rocket Fizzles Out, Puts Other Launches on Hold

ASTROSCALE Raises a Total of $25 Million in Series C Led by Private Companies

LISA Pathfinder: bake, rattle and roll

A Final Farewell to LISA Pathfinder

Good Night, Lisa Pathfinder

WSU physicists turn a crystal into an electrical circuit

Scientists improve ability to measure rock stress

UBC research unearths Canadian sapphires fit for a queen

Making polymer chemistry 'click'

A New Search for Extrasolar Planets from the Arecibo Observatory

Gulf of Mexico tube worm is one of the longest-living animals in the world

Molecular Outflow Launched Beyond Disk Around Young Star

Breakthrough Starshot launches tiny spacecraft in quest for Alpha Centauri

New Horizons Video Soars over Pluto's Majestic Mountains and Icy Plains

Juno spots Jupiter's Great Red Spot

New evidence in support of the Planet Nine hypothesis

NASA's New Horizons Team Strikes Gold in Argentina

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement