They’re using robotic security guards in Silicon Valley. Yes, crime fighting automated robots designed to keep the world’s largest technology corporations safe from harm. If you tried to imagine what these robots look like without the aid of a photograph, you might picture some big, robust humanoid. Maybe it’s equipped with rockets, or laser guns, and it might say, “Halt criminal, or be smote” or something of the sort. However it probably doesn’t doesn’t look like a fancy trash can that could easily be tipped over or outrun.
But that’s exactly what the Knightscope K5 Autonomous Data Machines patrolling Silicon Valley look like. The Knightscope company responsible for creating these automated patrollers is a robotics company based out of Mountain View, California.
Sadly, these little wheeled robots aren’t equipped with laser guns or jet packs. They are however equipped with laser scanners, and can directly notify the authorities in the event of any criminal activity, as well as track and record information instantly. In addition to laser scanners these robots are equipped with cameras, speakers, mics, and sensors that capture everything around them.
The K5 robots weigh in at 300 pounds and stand around 5 feet tall. They’re designed to help prevent crime by alerting authorities of unusual or suspicious behavior, and also to help apprehend criminals should a crime be committed.
Let’s say the K5 stumbles across a burglar. They K5 will slowly circle the burglar in a menacing fashion, but it can’t actually stop the criminal from stealing whatever they came for before the police arrive. But while the robot was circling the thief, they were capturing their image with cameras and scanners, which could lead the police to apprehending them later.
The K5 also has a button that can be pressed by anyone who is in need of aid from the authorities, similar to an emergency station you might see around cities or campuses. This ensures that the K5 can still be useful even if it doesn’t detect a danger or emergency.
If these Knightscope K5 robots turn out to be useful, we may see them in cities across the U.S.!