Mobile Security Robot as Sensor Platform

One of the questions we get asked a lot is a version of “What can your robot do that my cameras can’t?” Of course there are a number of reasons why a security robot can provide better physical security than a fixed camera system (See: What’s a security robot got…)  In this post I want to talk about things beyond simple intrusion detection.

Robot patrolling the receiving dock, and monitoring changing temperatures.

Vigilus(tm) security robot patrolling the receiving dock, and monitoring changing temperatures.

If you have a security officer in your warehouse or data center at night you expect them to do more that just go through the motions of hourly patrols.  O.K., let’s be honest, for some of you it would be great if the security officer would do those hourly patrols reliably – how much do you spend on sophisticated “guard tour” reporting equipment?  But when your night patrols are underway, you expect your officer to pay attention.

Since the mobile security robot is patrolling the space, we can add a selection of environmental sensors to its payload. It always carries a thermal sensor and both records and responds to temperature as it travels.  That means that every morning the facilities manager can get a report on their desk with second by second records of the temperature in an area. More importantly, if the temperature varies by more than a pre-set amount, the robot will generate an alarm in real-time.  This enables the team to respond the problem before it becomes severe.  Typical uses include sensing and alerting on overheating servers in a data center, or a motor left running on a loading dock, or possibly even a coffee pot left on in the break room.

Graph showing recorded temperature with a trend line indicating an upward trend

Sample temperature report, prepared from room data collected by a Vigilus-MCP security robot

In addition to the second by second logging, the security robot/sensor platform can also detect trends before they become problems.  Over the course of an evening, it can provide data that indicates the temperature is increasing a few degrees every hour, and that if the trend continues it will overheat by 6 am.  This could go out in a text message long before midnight to the facilities manager, rather than as an emergency just before the stock market opens.

Another key capability is that the robot knows where it is when it is recording environmental data. So that temperature report could be formatted as a map showing areas where the temps run hot,  versus areas where it is running cold. If someone leaves a floor panel open in a data center when they go home at 5 pm, it can spell serious trouble for the servers that are no longer getting clean cooling air.  In an office setting, something as simple as an employee putting a box on that top shelf and blocking the air vent can disrupt a carefully balanced HVAC distribution system.  But not with the robot on duty.

And everything that can be done with temperature can be repeated for dozens of other environmental sensors – carbon monoxide, natural gas, smoke, explosives, in short – if they make a suitable sensor for it, your Vigilus security robot can be carrying it on every patrol, every night.  Try to get your security camera to do that!

Where is your security robot?  Ours are made here in the USA by Vigilant Robots:  Always Vigilant!

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  1. Security Robotics and CIOs – The Gartner Group | whereismyrobot

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