Knightscope K5 on security patrol roams campus

Knightscope K5 on security patrol roams campus

A Mountain View, California-based company called Knightscope designs and builds 5-feet, 300-pound security guards called K5, but anyone scanning last week's headlines has already heard about them, with the news that Microsoft was deploying a number of autonomous robot security guards to patrol its Silicon Valley campus. The company making the K5, Knightscope, refers to the guard as an "autonomous data machine."

Sebastian Anthony, in ExtremeTech, described it as a security guard on wheels. This is designed to roam outdoors, knows where it is by GPS, charges itself when it needs to, and uses enough technology to see, feel, hear and smell. The robot is packed with four cameras, odor detectors, thermal imaging system and scanners that can read an impressive number of 300 car license plates every minute. Its system can convert scanned images of alphanumeric text into machine-encoded text for comparison against a defined database or 'hot list'. It uses the infrared light spectrum to provide video in low or no-light conditions.

Back in January, Forbes carried a piece about Knightscope; its CEO William Santana Li noted they are not a robotics company but rather a security company. "This is Security 3.0," said Li in Forbes. "This isn't about waking up and deciding to make a robot, this was about waking up and seeing an industry that has dangerous, repetitive, mundane work and has not changed its methodology on the front lines since it started, it's time for a change." He also made the point that there is much more "intelligent technology for people who are putting themselves in harm's way for minimum wage . There is technology that can help them do their jobs more effectively and safely."

Earlier this month, Rachel Metz wrote about the robots in MIT Technology Review. She said that they use Wi-Fi or a to communicate with one another and with people who can remotely monitor cameras, microphones, and other data sources. "The robots have a battery that could last about 24 hours on a single charge, though the K5 is supposed to monitor its battery life and wheel over to a charging pad when needed."

How do they offer protection? Metz provided some details. If you walk in front of the robot, it will stop abruptly. If you try to detain it, an alarm will chirp and will send a low-level alert to a remote monitoring center. Try to really bother it and the result will be an "ear-piercing alarm" which sends off another alert. The operator uses Knightscope's browser-based software to check out the robot and talk to anyone who may be there. If a person outdoors on the compound where the robots are roaming needs help, the procedure is to press a button near the top of a nearby 's head to summon someone remotely.

Knightscope K5 on security patrol roams campus

Explore further

Control system from iRobot aims to simplify robot operations

More information: www.knightscope.com/

© 2014 Tech Xplore

Citation: Knightscope K5 on security patrol roams campus (2014, November 24) retrieved 20 August 2019 from https://techxplore.com/news/2014-11-knightscope-k5-patrol-roams-campus.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
13 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments

Nov 24, 2014
These are easily pushed over and useless in 80% of the markets due to ice

Nov 25, 2014
Well Mr ogg, you are just full of sunshine today, lol. I like the idea that someone is making a security robot that seems to be designed for portable, remote surveillance. Although, I do questions its ability to do useful things like a human would. What if a person was being robbed and raped in a parking lot? The robot may be able to get video evidence, maybe make some chirping sounds, alert authorities, etc. I could see them being useful in an enclosed area, like a shopping mall, or an office building, or perhaps a fenced Corporate complex. I see the idea is to allow fewer security personnel to cover more ground, and make multiple "rounds" at one time. But once again, good intentions lead to better technology and fewer jobs. Yeah, there will be less security guards in harms way, because they will be unemployed at home....

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more