when the sun is down, on a warm evening of November, a group of five feet tall, three hundred pounds of white and shiny robot patrol before Microsoft park building no. 1 in silicon valley. They look as if a group of seasoned Dalek (the robot in the British science fiction television programs), the but again with Fred Astaire’s charisma. These robots in cement forests and weaving in the appropriate place to stop or turn, in order to avoid bump into trash can, walls and other obstacles.
these robots to try to show their lovely and terrible, because of the friendly and less friendly appearance can help them to better perform monitoring companies, university campuses, the task of shopping center, primary and secondary schools.
Knightscope, the headquarters is located in mountain view, California’s entrepreneurial companies since 2013 has been working on K5 design, manufacture and testing of the robot. So far, the company has made seven robot. Before the end of the year, the company also plans to the technology company has not yet been named the deployment of four other robot finished products. These robots will be used to detect abnormal behavior, such as when someone in the middle of the night into the building, a similar situation and will be back to the remote security center.
“it avoids the boring and sometimes dangerous work, and according to the different application, leave the strategic work with law enforcement agencies or private security guards.” Knightscope’s co-founder and vice President of sales and Marketing Department Stacy Stephens said this, a robot K5 just pass by.
in order to do human security usually do, K5 robot equipped with cameras, sensors, navigation equipment and electric motors – all these equipment and a large rechargeable battery with a computer in the dome of the body. Each robot is equipped with four sets of hd video camera (around one per side), a license plate recognition cameras, four microphones and a weather sensor (looks like a DVD slot), in order to measure air pressure, co2 concentration and temperature. These robots through wi-fi or wireless data network communication with each other and with those who can remote control the camera, microphone and other sources of data communication.
GPS and a laser range finder can help these robots on a mission to find a suitable path in their patrol area and obstacle avoidance. When the robot to a new place, just as earlier this month Knightscope co-founder and CEO William Santana Li said in a BBS of science and technology, one can use wireless controllers tell the robot where it’s going to patrol and let it be familiar with the surrounding environment, and before the robots in the Microsoft campus to patrol. “You just have to give it a map of the most basic, and then it will do the rest.” Stephens said.
more and more companies use the robot to complete traditionally done by manual work, or directly make robots replace artificial and Knightscope is one of them. As robots become more intelligent, more flexible, more adapt to specific tasks, this trend will continue to accelerate. And while most robots do is assembly line work, but Knightscope and a few other companies agree that robots can take on other work.
although Knightscope may soon let robot replace security guards, according to estimates from the U.S. department of labor bureau of labor statistics data, more than 1 million people in the past year of security guards. According to Knightscope statistics, use the cost of the robot for just $6.25, and made by the security guards hour wage is more than twice that number, it may attract some enterprises and schools to a try.
these robots are equipped with a single life for up to 24 hours of battery, although K5 should detect its battery life and when the need to switch to the pad. It will take 15 or 20 minutes to fully charged.
although K5 may seem approachable and not carrying any weapons, but this does not mean that they are easy to handle. If you walk in front of it, it will stop immediately. If you tried to detain, so its built-in alarm will began ringing after a period of time, at the same time, it will be sent to the remote control center a low-level alarm. If you cross it, then it would be ready to withstand harsh alarm! At the same time, it also sends another alarm, prompt the operator to use Knightscope browser-based software to check the status of a sensor around, and see what happens around the robot, and communicate any possible harassment of its people.
if you need help, and a robot just around you, so you can press it on the top button for remote assistance.
Stephens said, including the costs of many cannot afford the high security guard security company, dozens of potential customers for robots security guard showed keen interest. Knightscope hope can start to put into use the robot in the first half of next year.
is the company’s vision of a robot can beyond the standard security applications. Stephens, for example, have suggested to launch an app can make college students call a robot to accompany them through the campus at night.
however, if you want to these robots start working security guards, Knightscope there are still many challenges to face, whether in the technical level, or at the cultural level. First of all, they need to prove that these robots can be on standby for a long time, moreover, they also need to let people used to place the existence of these robots.
they also need to make efforts in terms of balancing robot. When talking with Stephens, I noticed the K5 will be down from the pavement to a cm from the pavement edge falls when asphalt parking lot. This is where a few Knightscope staff to straighten it. Unlike human security guards, these robots are still not in the fall when she climbed up.