Archive for category Mobile Sensor Robot

Shelley learns about putting robots to work

“Okay, Bob,” Shelley said ” I think I get the idea of what this security robot can do. I’ll want to learn more about how it does it, but that can wait. What I want to know first is what is involved in putting one of these robo-officers to work?”

“I know, Shelley – you are worried that it will be really disruptive, or that you will have to change your current operations to get the benefits, right?”

Vigilus MCP security robot on Duty in Lobby

Vigilant Security Robot on night patrol duty in Lobby

“Exactly! Like many businesses we are running lean and mean, that means changes are risky – they could result in lost opportunities or cause the team to get out of sync.  I can’t afford that,” Shelley replied.

“Well, let me tell you what is involved. It is a pretty simple process, and you are in a perfect position to move forward!

“How is that?” Shelley asked.

“Putting a security robot to work is usually a six step process, but since we just did a recent security review most of the hard work is already done. I told you that putting a security robot to work is a lot like putting a security officer to work, you have already got a head start.”

“Do you have a few minutes for another video?” Bob asked?

Shelley said “Sure, but we really should have made popcorn!”

Bob ran a short video about putting a robot to work:

“So you see Shelley, it is a six step process:

  • Plan,
  • Learn the Facility,
  • Learn the Tasks,
  • Verify Knowledge,
  • Go To Work,
  • Confirm Value

but, we have already done most of the first step.”

“Bob, I really like the focus on the value to my company. I sometimes feel that is the last thing many of my other vendors are thinking about. Let me see if I understand.  The security robot is designed to do routine patrols overnight, when the building is locked up. On these patrols it is constantly scanning for possible problems – intruders, fire, smoke, leaking water…”

“Yes, but you do have to add option packages for some of those sensors,” Bob interjected.

“Right, but that is good because I can tailor the sensors to match my needs,” Shelley continued, “And if we get an alarm from the security system, we can dispatch the robot so that we know what is going on, before we have to call the cavalry. And we do this by giving the robot the layout of the building, and teaching it the various patrol patterns, as well as what conditions should cause it to generate an alarm. There is no tape on the floor, I don’t have to install beacons or barcodes or RFID tags all over the place.”

Bob smiled, “Exactly! The robot is designed to work like a human security officer – they learn what you want them to do and then they do it, over and over again.”

“And no vacations, no sick time, no coffee breaks!  I like this idea.  So, lets talk about the next steps….”

Shelley and Bob began Step 1 – planning how to get the maximum value from the new security robot.

 


Where is your Robot? – Contact Gamma 2 Robotics and put your new American made Vigilant security robot to work today!


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Shelley and the Security Robot (part 2)

Okay Bob, what do you mean by a Security Robot?

“It is pretty cool, actually,” Bob replied “It is a mobile robot that will patrol your facility all night. It monitors the space for intruders, motion, and (if you add some option packages) smoke, fire and explosive gas.”

Mobile robot patrolling garage

The Vigilant Robot on patrol in a warehouse in Denver, CO. The security robot is manufactured by Gamma 2 Robotics.

Shelley looked a little dubious. “You are saying that this thing will patrol my warehouse just like a person, and spot problems?  Like those robots the police use during bomb threats?”

She paused, then said “Bob, like I just told you I am trying to cut my budget – I can’t pay some robot technician to run this thing all night – that would cost a fortune!”

“No Shelley – I heard you!  These robots are autonomous – that means that you just turn them on and tell them to get to work.  They don’t need an operator, they do their patrols on their own. So you don’t have a robot tech driving them around at all.”  Bob continued “And they are really cost effective – Right now your night-shift officer is costing you about $17.00 an hour – a little below the national average.”

Shelley interrupted “Bob I know that you are providing us with top quality people and I have heard what some of my business colleagues are paying for their security.”

“Thanks Shelley, that is good to hear – but the good news is these robots work for the equivalent of around $4.00 an hour.”

“Sure, Bob, but that’s if I amortized the cost over, like twenty years or something. The up-front costs will kill me.”

Bob laughed – “Shelley, the total cost of putting one of these to work is less than one year’s salary equivalent, the $4.00 per hour is based on 3 years. And I will ‘rent’ you the robot, just like I am ‘renting’ you the current security team!”

“Wait, you are telling me I don’t have to go to some company I never heard of before and trust them with my business, my life? I can keep working with you and your team?”

Bob reached for his laptop, “Shelley, let me show you this quick video, it’s about three and a half minutes, you can see the robots in action and it covers a lot of the background.” Shelley and Bob settled down to watch the video. Shelley said – “Bob, I should have made some popcorn!”

“Okay, Bob,” Shelley said after the video ended, “this is starting to sound too good to be true.  But, I remember a robot they put to work at one of our client’s offices.  It took them weeks to put the weird tape on the floors, and they had to rearrange the layout of the furniture. The robot did it’s job, but the set-up was awful. I simply can’t put up with that level of disruption.

“No problem – Shelley, let me explain how easy it is …

Part 3 – putting a robot to work


Where is your robot?™ – ours are going to work to keep people and property safe and secure.


For more info, contact us at Gamma 2 Robotics or call 303-778-7400


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Shelley and the Security Robot (part 1)

“Bob, I have to cut costs – I simply cannot afford to have a security officer on duty full time.

Shelley, the client does not look happy about having to tell Bob that the costs must be cut.

A painful discussion with a client – until Bob brings up the topic of security robots.

Bob looked across the desk at Shelley, his long time client. He started to marshal the arguments about the value, how security is not a cost, the need for safety. Shelley continued, “I know your officers do a great job, and I agree with the arguments about investments versus costs, but I simply have to cut the budget.  What can you offer me that is cheaper?”

Bob asked – “Shelley, is it about the money, or is there some problem with the team?  We can bring other…” Shelley interrupted “No Bob, we love your people – they are focused; they’re attentive; they do a great job! Frankly, I wish I could hire more people like your officers. But I have to cut the budget.”

“Okay, how much are we talking about? Maybe we can reduce the hours, or cut out some of the weekend coverage? It wouldn’t be ideal, but it would cut costs some.”

“Bob, I have to cut the budget a lot – I don’t think trimming a few hours here or there is going to make it. What else can you offer me?”

“Well, the next step down is a drive by every couple of hours – we have well equipped cars and they do a complete perimeter sweep, and can typically respond in under 10 minutes.”

“Bob, we talked about that last year,” Shelley replied, “I don’t think that will work – we have an adjoining wall, with Acme, which you can’t see from outside. I have nightmares about that break in last month where the thief cut through the common wall. I have millions of dollars of cutting-edge high-tech electronics in the warehouse.”

“Shelley, I have an idea – you have high-tech products, right?  And you built up a cutting-edge 21st century technology business right?”

“Yeah! I like to think our company defines the envelope of high technology.”

Robot patrolling a receiving dock, looking for intruders and monitoring changing temperatures.

Robot patrolling a receiving dock, looking for intruders and monitoring changing temperatures.

“Shelley, what about a robot? An autonomous, mobile, security robot to do the night shift patrols?  It will patrol, check for fire, smoke, intruders, movement, water – what ever you need.”

“Bob, get serious – this isn’t a science fiction movie”

“No Shelley, it’s not – but it is the 21st century! We have deployed tested, commercially available security robots for situations just like yours. The robots act as mobile security, doing patrols just like our officers, and when they detect a problem they send an alert to our mobile supervisors who can respond within minutes.”

“Okay, maybe these robots exist – but I’m trying to cut costs not spend a million dollars on a robot.”

“Shelley, you are going to love this – I can put one to work in the plant for under half what your current security officers cost.”

“Bob, this is starting to sound good – better than good, it sounds cool! Tell me how this would work….”

Continued in part 2: “What do you mean by a ‘Security Robot’?”:

Where is your robot?™ Ours are cutting costs and improving security

Learn more at Gamma 2 Robotic

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G4S and Security Robots: thumbs up, thumbs down

G4S, the world’s largest provider of security officers, announced that they have a security robot patrolling their offices. Way to go!

Thumbs Up: University of Birmingham

The students at the University of Birmingham should be justly proud of their accomplishment. We know how hard it is to develop a security robot to patrol complex spaces like offices and warehouses – after all we’ve been doing that for almost five years.

Also Kudos to G4S – they are thought leaders in the security field, and they are moving forward by participating in a $12.5 million 5 year project to develop security robots.

The security robot is on patrol in a high tech exhibit area. Protecting hundreds of thousands of dollars of exhibits overnight.

The security robot is on patrol in a high tech exhibit area. Protecting hundreds of thousands of dollars of exhibits overnight

Thumbs Up: G4S

The industry knows that the world needs 21st century security, and G4S is stepping forward. This pro-active step by G4S to address the increasing challenges of the physical security industry is a praiseworthy one. In February of 2014, Mark McCourt – publisher of Security Magazine, said in an editorial: “Look out Securitas, G4S, AlliedBarton… get on board with robots functioning as security officers.”  G4S is moving into the future.

As the costs of training,  ACA, and minimum wages continue to grow; and as the demands for increased physical security push the limits of the available workforce – something will have to change. G4S_UK is in the leadership position of defining the future of security by taking active steps today.

Thumbs Down: Gamma 2 Robotics

At Gamma 2 Robotics, we clearly deserve a thumbs down for not doing a better job educating the market about the value of using security robots as the newest tool to augment your existing security programs.

As a small hi-tech start-up robotics company, G2R hasn’t shouted loud enough to catch the attention of the major security providers with its commercially viable security robots ready for action.

With a $4.00/hr. cost to operate, Gamma 2 Robotics provides a new alternative to the traditional security officer.  These robots are tested, reliable and ready to operate completely ‘hands free’ in your customers’ warehouses, data centers and commercial buildings.

They say the best day in the security business is when nothing happens – our robots are wide awake and focused while they keep patrolling night after night in the dark during all those dull and boring assignments. But rest assured if something does happen they will be ready to respond with timely accurate incident notifications.

So, give me a call and put a robot to work on your security team.


Where’s your Robot?™  – Ours are ready, willing, and able to got to work for you tonight!


Contact Gamma 2 Robotics, or call +1.303.778.7400 today.


 

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Midnight Warehouse Fire

The robot rolled along on its regular patrol. Down to the loading dock, through the shipping area, up and down the aisles of the warehouse that made up the bulk of its responsibility, and then along the north wall between the warehouse and the office area. The robot had already automatically adjusted its patrol route, because there were several large pallets awaiting shipment on Wednesday morning.  These pallets had over $100,000 worth of custom product ready to go out to a key customer to meet a tight deadline, but the robot did not know that.

The robot also didn’t know that the loading dock door had jammed this morning. So all day the door repair guys had been hammering, welding, cutting away sections of track to get the door fixed by close of business. What nobody knew was that several chunks of red hot metal had landed in the sawdust from the packing area, and a small fire was slowly smoldering.

Chicago warehouse fire

It wasn’t really midnight yet, but you know how the media will stretch the truth for a good headline. To be precise it was only 10:53 and 11.45 seconds. The robot is very precise.

As the robot rolled into the shipping area, the sensors of its FireWatcher™ system(1) detected an increase in combustion by-products. The robot slowed down and began to scan. Equipped with an advanced thermal sensor, it was reading 8 channels of temperature data three times a second, and it detected a slight temperature rise over by the newly repaired garage door. It quickly calculated the best path to get there and began zeroing in on the heat source.

It rolled closer, and the smoke sensors it carried started reading a level that crossed its alarm threshold. It also picked up the increased temperature , and it began detecting the combustible gasses associated with a smoldering fire. It went into fire alarm mode!

Electronic messages flew over the internet, to both the monitoring company and to Steve, the business owner. Along with the digital alarms, the robot sent video of the exact location of the small fire. Steve logged directly into the robot from his house 40 miles away, and could read the temperatures and smoke sensor levels, and see what the robot was sending in real time video. But he didn’t really need to worry about the numbers – the robot had detected a fire in the making, and he trusted the robot. The ceiling mounted smoke detectors hadn’t activated yet – it can take a while for the low levels of smoke to travel in a large warehouse. And, of course, if the fire got big enough the sprinkler systems would activate – saving the building but playing havoc with all the product on the warehouse shelves. As any professional fire fighter will tell you – the second best time to put out a fire is when it is really small. The best time is before it starts.

Steve talked with the monitoring company and they decided to activate the fire suppression system on the robot(2). While Steve sent the command to the robot, the monitoring center was coordinating with the local fire department and the trucks were on their way.  The robot used its temperature sensors to position itself at the right distance from the fire, and triggered its on-board fire extinguisher. The foam doused the smoldering fire, after all it was aimed by a robot using advanced artificial intelligence to calculate the best application point. Before the fire department arrived the fire was out.  As the fire trucks pulled up, the owner was on his way down to the building, and everything was under control.

So, in the end – no big headlines for the morning paper, no customer getting a call about a delayed shipment, and no need to activate the ‘business continuity’ plans.  Wednesday would be just another day at work, except they were going to have a party in the break room for the robot.

 


Where is your robot?™ Ours are keeping lives and property safe! Learn more at Gamma 2 Robotics


(1) The FireWatcher™ system is not intended to replace any fire detection system required by local fire codes or insurance. It is an additional system that augments required systems. FireWatcher™ is an available option for all Vigilant series security robots.

(2) The fire suppression system is currently under development at Gamma 2 Robotics, and will be available soon. Subscribe to our newsletter to stay current with all the ongoing development.


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Learning about Security Robots and Physical Security

We have been invited to an exciting event – the Physical Security Showcase and Luncheon hosted by the Kansas City chapter of ASIS International on June 05, 2014.

Security robots and janitorial workers sharing the corridor on the night shift.

Security robots and janitorial workers sharing the corridor on the night shift.

We will do an educational talk about real world applications of mobile robotics in the security field – what is possible, and what is still science fiction. As experts in the field of Security Robotics we believe that it is critical to have the knowledge to separate the hype from the reality. This is key to making informed decisions about the real benefits of putting security robots to work.

We will be one session of several focusing on cutting edge technology and culminating with a presentation by the FBI on “FBI Security Technology as related to Investigations” By FBI Supervisor Patricia Sola.

So, if you are in the Kansas City area – this is the event to attend! If you are not in the KC area – you should get here for this event! Besides – we will have Gamma 2 Robotics Vigilant Mobile Security Robots on display!

 

Where is your robot?  Ours will be invading Kansas City for the Physical Security Showcase in June!

Learn more about our technology

 

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Security Robots and The WTC Climber

The teenager was good, there is no question about his skills. He used both his physical dexterity and his social engineering skills to the max, and ended up standing on the top of the 1,776 foot tall, iconic, World Trade Center in the New York City night.

Justin Cosquejo atop one building while contemplating his next conquest - the World Trade Center in NYC. screen grab from twitter

Justin Cosquejo atop one building while contemplating his next conquest – the World Trade Center in NYC. screen grab from twitter

Given the extensive symbolic value of this building, and the likelihood of it becoming a major terrorism target, we need to ask “What happened to the security?”  And, perhaps more importantly, what can we do to prevent a repeat by someone less interested in accomplishment and more interested in destruction?

Unfortunately, for many aspects of the security officer’s job, people are not really suited to the tasks. Let’s look at this incident, and see what a difference a robot might make. As we know from the news reports, Justin allegedly first gained access to the site by climbing through a hole in the fence protecting the perimeter of the building site.

Failure #1: Focus

There were security officers responsible for perimeter intrusion detection, but on a complex and extensive building site things are constantly changing, and for a person that change can be overwhelming. So, slowly over time, the humans become numb to the changes, and numb to the problems.  Robots, with advanced artificial intelligence, never lose focus, and are designed to track details. An outdoor security robot tasked with perimeter patrol will continuously scan 24/7 and any potential breaches are reported immediately. They will continue to be reported on every shift, until they are fixed. Robots don’t care about the weather, or how many times they have looked at that part of the fence, they Patrol, Observe, and Report every time.

In this incident, From a CNN report:

Authorities said Justin Casquejo early Sunday allegedly climbed through a 1-foot opening in a fence surrounding the still-under-construction skyscraper, past “do not enter” and “no trespassing” signs and, apparently undetected, got to the scaffolding around the building and started climbing.

Failure #2: Social Engineering

Once he climbed the scaffolding, he gained access on the 6th floor.  Much of the security for operational building is focused on the ground floor and underground entrances, not a window 60 feet up the side of the building, but what happened next is a classic intrusion scheme, and it depends on people behaving like people.  Then Justin allegedly put on a hard hat and walked calmly to the tower elevator and pressed the up button. When the doors opened, and he saw that the elevator was occupied, he simply stepped in, like he was supposed to be there, and pressed the button for the 88th floor.

He rode the tower lift and, according to the New York Post, donned a hardhat to appear as one of the construction workers working on site. Casquejo was reportedly allowed on the elevator up to the 88th floor by a “clueless union elevator operator” despite not having proper identification. (from International Business Times)

People see what they expect to see, we can’t help it – our brains are hard-wired to make quick judgments on little data. Perhaps, the operator of the elevator saw a young person, self assured, looking like they were on a task for their boss, and thought no more about it.

Vigilant Security Robot exiting elevator

Vigilant Security Robot exiting elevator

Had there been a security robot in the elevator (yes, they ride elevators just like anyone else, at least ours can) it would have detected that a person got on the elevator and immediately scanned for an ID badge.  When it got no response from the RFID chip in the badge, it would have immediately sent in an alert.  Robots do not make assumptions, robots always verify.

But in this case, the operator saw what they expected to see, a young worker doing his job. If they didn’t see an ID it was just because it wasn’t in sight – not that the intruder didn’t have one.  So the intruder got off on 88 and climbed the stairs to the 104th floor, with just one more hurdle to jump.

Failure #3: Attention

I spent years as a security officer, and one of the biggest problems is staying attentive. Most days nothing ever happens: it is an amazingly, massively boring task to sit, 1000 feet up in a building waiting for something to happen.  It is so boring that one’s attention flags, one’s thoughts wander, and that is what an intruder counts on.

The stories vary, in some reports the security guard was asleep, in other reports the guard was described as “inattentive”. In either case that guard was suffering from attention fatigue, and his guard dropped long enough for the intruder to get through.

Robots never fall asleep, security robots never become inattentive.  At the first instant that the intruder’s motion was detected, the robot would have raised the alarm, and bells would have been ringing, beepers would have been beeping, and the entire security team would know that something was wrong up on the 104th floor.  The robot would have provided real-time video of exactly who was there, and what they were up to. And while the human members of the security team responded to the incident, the robotic member of the team would keep feeding information to the Security Operations Center.

And we would not be reading headlines about the Teenager who outwitted the security at the New York World Trade Center, and climbed to the stars.

Vigilus MCP security robot on Duty in Lobby

Vigilus MCP security robot on night patrol duty in Lobby

There are good, solid economic reasons that everyone is talking about robots taking away jobs. And there are good, solid reasons that the job of a Security Officer is near the top of everyone’s list. At Gamma 2 Robotics, we see security robots as part of the security team, the part that you can depend on to do the ‘dull, dirty, and dangerous’ tasks; and do those tasks consistently, reliably, and well.  In this case, it was only a teenager proving something to himself and the world. But what if it had been someone with a far more destructive agenda?


Where is your robot? Ours are out protecting property and lives.

For more information about Vigilant security robots contact Gamma 2 Robotics.


(1) Under development at Gamma 2 Robotics

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Robots invade ISC/West

Vigilant Security Robot exiting elevator

Vigilant Security Robot exiting elevator

Gamma 2 Robotics is packing up robots for the upcoming ISC/W security show in Las Vegas.  This is the home of what is new in security – and security robots are the future!

We will be running demonstrations of our security robots and showing off the newest modules, like our FireWatcher package for smoke and fire detection. Come by Booth 2122 and see the future of security!

 

 

If you would like a free exhibits access pass, send us a request using this form.


Where is your robot?® Ours are getting shipped to the ISC/west security show

For more information please visit Gamma 2 Robotics


 

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You Lying Weasel

What do you trust more, what you are told or what you actually see?

The 4ft tall security robot points its top-mounted camera at the surface of a workstation.

The Vigilant security robot responds to a secure remote request to relay an image of the desktop.

For most people the answer is simple: you trust your senses. If you look out the window and it is raining, you believe that it is raining regardless of what your spouse, your best friend, or some guy at the weather station tells you.  This is a capability we develop as we mature. As kids we believed what we were told, Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, “This won’t hurt.”  We trusted what we were told until we gained more experience, until we learned better.

This ability to trust our senses is critical in the complex, ever-changing, and uncertain environments that we think of as normal.  We have to guess what is around the corner, then react quickly when we see that our guess was wrong. We make plans based our our predictions about the future and have to re-plan when we see what the situation is really like.  This is how we get through the day, get through our lives.

At Gamma 2 Robotics, we build robots. Unlike an industrial robot working away tirelessly in a controlled space in a factory, our robots work alongside people in human environments. To do so they need to trust their senses.  Most robots simply do what they are told to do, they don’t think, they don’t reason, they just follow orders.  And they trust.

Auto assembly line with robots

Auto assembly line with robots

This leads to potential problems. The case of robot welder that ‘trusted’ that the space around it was clear, so it swung it’s heavy arm in an arc, killing Robert Williams in 1979; the first recorded death by robot.

At Gamma 2 value safety, and that means that our robots trust, but in the words of the late president Reagan, our robots “trust, but verify”  So, if you tell one of our robots that the path in front of it is clear, and it can move forward, it will trust, but verify that there are no obstacles in the way, and verify the path dozens of times a second as it moves.

This month we added a significant capability to our robot’s skill set.  It used to be that, if we were in a hurry, we could lie to our robots.  We might be at a location like a conference or a trade show.  And to speed things up, to make it easier for us to demonstrate a capability, we would tell the robot that it was really back in the lab. The robot would trust, and follow our instructions perfectly, even though we were not in the lab at all.  That all changed this month, as we upgraded the artificial intelligence of the robots.

Robot patrolling the receiving dock, and monitoring changing temperatures.

Robot patrolling the receiving dock, and monitoring changing temperatures.

Now the robots look around, they compare their sensory information with the expectations of what they should see, if they were really back at the lab.  And, if it is clear that we did not tell the robot the truth – the robot will not believe us, it will do its best to figure out where it really is, to prevent any unsafe behavior.

The robot will trust, but if it cannot verify – it might say “You told me we were in the lab, but we are not! You lying weasel!”


Where is your robot? Ours are keeping people and property safe!

Learn more at Gamma 2 Robotics or call +1 303 778 7400 for information.


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Robot attends Entrepreneur Conference as Guest

14Mar The Silicon Flatirons group from the University of Colorado, Boulder will host

Vigilus MCP security robot on Duty in Lobby

Vigilus MCP security robot on night patrol duty in Lobby

“SciFi and Entrepreneurship – Is Resistance Futile?” One of the attendees will be a robot from Gamma 2 Robotics. The focus of the event is the close relationship between science fiction ‘predicting’ the future, and the entrepreneurs that ‘create’ the future.

As an avid reader of Science Fiction, a technologist, and an entrepreneur – I am looking forward to the discussion about how these all play together. I am especially happy that one of our advance mobile robots will be attending the conference.  But not as a display or a demonstration, the robot will be an attendee.

Part of the discussion will include the role of artificial intelligence and robotics. Learn more about the Conference and the robot

It is not clear if the robot will be allowed to ask questions of the panelists!


Where is your robot?®  Ours are expanding boundaries and protecting property and lives.

To learn more visit Gamma 2 Robotics


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