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Autonomous Security Guards Are Coming

For those wondering when robotic security guards might become a reality, the answer is they’re already here. Robots are patrolling Microsoft’s Silicon Valley campus, located less than 30 minutes from ADS Guards in San Jose, though only as part of a short-term demonstration. It’s not so surprising, as hospitals have had specimen-carrying tube robots wandering the corridors for years. Some of them can even operate elevators. But for those in the security guard industry, who number over a million according to IRS employment figures, the issue of what security robots will be able to do, and when, is a real concern.

Startup Knightscope is leading the charge with its K5 human-size robot patrollers. They are initially “taught” the route by a human guide and then follow it back and forth using GPS technology and laser-ranging sensors to identify obstacles; they can see, too, using cameras. The on-board computer attempts to decipher what is normal behavior and what is cause for concern, like a person climbing a fence at night. The goal is to be selective about alerting real, trained security guards, making the unit more than just a mobile video camera.

If you try tinkering or messing with the K5, it will halt and emit a chirp-like warning. If you don’t cease the behavior and move away, a more uncomfortable ear-piercing alarm will follow. At five feet tall with a bulky rotund appearance, the K5 is meant to work as a deterring physical presence. Knightscope makes no secret that the K5 is intended to replace more expensive flesh-and-blood security guards, but the robot still relies heavily on having human oversight back at base. So although the future is here, don’t expect the K5 to overtake the industry anytime soon.

If you aren’t quite ready to move forward with robotic security services, call ADS Guards of San Jose at 1-800-794-1550. We provide residential and commercial security services, armed or unarmed security guards trained in first aid, CPR, and the power to arrest, and if you’re unsure whether security guards are right for your business, you can try our services with no long-term commitment required.