Archive for December, 2012

On-boarding Your Security Robot

You have decided to put a security robot to work.  Great decision, but what happens next?

At Vigilant Robots, we have developed a five step procedure to simplify the on-boarding process:

A robot on patrol

Security robots cannot be ‘socially engineered’

  1. Task Description
  2. Familiarization
  3. Team Training
  4. Getting to Work
  5. Validation

These steps are very similar to the steps followed when hiring a new employee, with new skills and abilities. So we approach the process in the same way.  First the employer determines how best to use the new capabilities that the employee brings to the table, then they get the employee up to speed with the business processes.  Next the team (the existing staff) is trained in the new business processes, and the new processes are ‘put to the test.’  Finally, the new system is evaluated to assess whether it is better than the previous processes.

With a security robot on the team, the same process applies.

Task Description

Since an autonomous security robot is a disruptive technology,  we start by working with the security team to establish how best to utilize the robot’s capabilities. These security robots are not the like the robots you see in movies – they are limited tools that can provide value in appropriate situations.  So we look at the current business processes, and develop a plan to free people from the tasks that the robot can do, and let those people do the tasks that need a person.  Our estimates suggest that somewhere around ten percent of the jobs currently performed by security officers might be better done by security robots.

This results in a new set of post orders (the rules followed by the security officers) and a set of instructions for the robot.  At this stage we also integrate the robot into the existing security system and communications network. This step also includes establishing specific measures to determine how well the robot is improving the current situation.

Familiarization

Designing the new business processes and training are key

Designing the new business processes and training are key to a successful implementation

This stage involves putting the robot through its paces in the work setting.  We confirm that the robot is capable of doing the specific tasks outlined in step one.

Typically, we also find the small glitches that might impede the team’s ability to maintain a safe and secure facility.  This is the equivalent of the ‘taking the new hire around and showing them the place’ step with a new employee.

Training the Team

Now we work with the security team to bring everyone up to speed on what the robot will be doing, how to work with the robot, and any changes to the post orders for the facility. Most of this is done by the senior security members, with us a technical backup.  After all, it is going to become their robot, so they need to understand it, and provide instructions for new (human) employees over time.

Getting to Work

Now that everybody is up to speed, we can put the security robot to work.  Of course, over the first few days, we will discover new issues that were overlooked. After all, it is a disruptive technology, so it is impossible to predict everything.

Mobile robot patrolling garage

The Vigilus(tm) Mobile Camera Platform Robot on patrol in a warehouse in Denver, CO. The security robot is manufactured by Vigilant Robots.

Based on our experience we get most of it covered in advance, but we make sure that the training, the security robot’s programming, and the expectations of the security team are all in alignment, and that the security robot is functioning as a useful member of the security team.

Validation

Why did you put a security robot to work?  To get some value added to your security system.  This step is where the rubber meets the road.  In step one, we detailed specific business value improvements that were expected from this change. If those improvements are not there, we need to know why, and what should be done to achieve them.  The final step is measuring the new system and confirming the improvement.

These improvements might be lower costs, or result in more frequent patrols; it might be image – 21st century security for our 21st century clients, or it might result in lowered security incidents.  Whatever those goals were, now is where we measure the results, and make sure that the security robot measures up.

Where is your security robot?  Ours are being made by Vigilant Robots, right here in Colorado.

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