What is the difference be between a security robot and a well designed monitored security camera system?*
At Vigilant Robots we sell mobile security robots. These are autonomous robots that can be assigned specific patrols in warehouses, office buildings, event centers to provide midnight shift monitoring. They are designed to function when the facility is closed to the public, and after the workers have gone home, working in conjunction with the existing security to provide additional monitoring and support.
Cost pressures are forcing security managers to look for technology to augment their security teams. One option is to rely on remotely monitored security cameras and perimeter sensors, and in many cases this is an effective strategy. However, often the layout of the facility or the need for more detailed observation led to the decision for active patrols, and those needs may not be met with remote monitoring alone.
Keep in mind that we are focusing on security systems with monitored video. If the video is simply recording for forensic analysis there is no comparison. Sure, after the robbery you will be able to replay the video, and (with luck) get an image of the thief – but that is long after they are gone with the goods. Also, given the number of high-profile, high-value thefts where the thieves simply avoided the cameras, you may not even have that.
So, what are the advantages of an autonomous security robot on patrol?
Three significant advantages come quickly to mind. All are based on the idea that the security robot can be deployed to specific locations and that the security robot can monitor, detect, and alert the security officers to problems.
The first is the ability to deliver a camera where you need it, when you need it. Modern cameras are incredibly sophisticated but they still require line of sight. In complex spaces, it can be cost prohibitive to deploy enough cameras to cover all the hallways, aisles, and corners of the space. With a security robot on patrol, you have a roving eye, that gets up close and personal. Rather than using a wall or ceiling mounted camera to try to pan, tilt and zoom to get a good view – you can send the robot right to the spot, and have a close-up high resolution view to inform the security officer of the current situation.
The second is that the robot can carry additional sensors (thermal, motion, smoke, gas, etc.) and send alerts to the SOC to let them know that there is a problem. As you know, attention fatigue is a serious problem for security officers staring at a bank of monitors – the robots do not suffer from this. With the addition of thermal scanners, motion detectors, and other sensors the security robot becomes a formidable intrusion detection system.
Finally, the presence of of mobile security officer is a deterrent in itself – the bad guys can’t predict where the officer is at any given time so they are more likely to pick another target. The same is true for the mobile security robot, only more so. We are all aware of the deterrent effect of signs for security alarms, monitored security, video surveillance, and so on. Ho much more of a deterrent is the notification that an area is patrolled by security robots?
So we think there is significant value to augmenting the security team with mobile security robots.
Where’s your security robot? Ours are manufactured by Vigilant Robots, in Colorado.
*This is based on a discussion in the Private Security Professionals group on LinkedIn.