With Knightscope's K5, the robot security scene has a new contender. These pretty much human sized bots are designed to record and prevent crime, while intimidating criminals with their "commanding presence" and loud screeching.
K5 - The latest in robot security
What you're seeing above is the latest development in robot crime fighting, the K5 from Knightscope. The bots have already created quite a bit of interesting among robot enthusiasts and generel population alike, with media recently reporting that Microsoft had already employed a few robots to patrol their campus. Knightscope also reported that their first round of funding was a success with over $5 million gathered, and they're hoping to but their bots to work all around Silicon Valley in the near future.
Preventing crime with a commanding presence
The security robots or autonomous data machines, as they are officially labeled, are 1.5 meters (~5 feet) tall and weigh about 135 kilos (~300 pounds). The equipment they use in their crime-fighting include a laser scanner, a 360 degree camera and are capable of generating more than 90 terabytes of data every year. The bots wirelessly provide your security command center with their surveillance data which a security team can use real-time to catch criminals, something that sounds suspiciously similar to a regular security camera, albeit a mobile one. What a regular security camera does not provide is what Knightscope calls "a physical and commanding presence in public places where security is needed". Whether that is true is, from just looking at the thing, highly debatable.
A mobile security cam?
The bots are designed to scoot around an area you've decided on, avoiding obstacles and people in their march while recording video and audio with the camera. If the bot should spot criminal activity it records and follows the culprit, recording license plates and other relevant data. As can probably be guessed judging from the bots appearance, they don't actually take action against the criminal, but allegedly it can defend itself by issuing a screech-like sound that gets progressively louder and louder, while notifying your regular human security staff.
Robot security for only $6.25 / hour
Do you feel your company premises, mall or other fitting location is badly in need of some robot security? Well, the good news is that you can hire one of Knightscope's K5 bots for the mere cost of $6.25 per hour (minimum one-year lease), which according to them will "free humans to address strategic tasks while the machines handle monotonous or dangerous tasks".
Meanwhile, Knightscope is aggressively continuing their tech development, reinvigorated by the public and corporate interest shown in their products and the money invested. For those of you dreaming of real-life robocops roaming our streets, it looks like you will unfortunately have to wait a while longer though.