Archive for category Security robot
Lowes recently announced that they would be testing a robotic shop assistant in one of their smaller stores. The robot is designed to roam about the store and be available for both customers and employees to use for product look up, pricing and product location.
It is not really clear how well it will be accepted – that is why they are testing it. But some of the pundits have already weighed in – check out this clip from John Oliver’s (Last Week Tonight) show:
As funny as this parody is, there is serious interest in using this type of technology in retail. We have been deploying robots for years, our concern is the robot moving and working in a crowded store. Now, for night time security and patrol –
Where is your robot? Check out the Vigilant series robots from Gamma 2 Robotics
“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?”
“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:
- 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!
“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.”
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
“Bob, I have to cut costs – I simply cannot afford to have a security officer on duty full time.”
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.”
“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
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It was the best of heists, it was the worst of heists.
The victim is E-Cigarettes Wholesale, and they supply ‘e-cigarettes’ to almost 1200 retailers nation-wide. As a result, they warehouse hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of easily sellable, high demand products.
The best of heists!
This is what actually happened on the evening of Sunday, June 15th in Dania Beach, Florida, USA. At around 6pm, a thief breaks into an auto repair business in a multi-tenant building on Tigertail Boulevard. The auto shop doesn’t have much in the way of security, but the e-cig warehouse next door does. They do everything right – cameras, door sensors, passive IR motion detectors covering the access points, covering the windows, covering the doors.
The thief knows this, the theory is that he had checked the place out on an earlier visit. So, he doesn’t come in through the doors, or the windows. He breaks in through the common wall from the auto repair shop next door. He cuts a hole through the two layers of dry-wall and goes to work. He stayes away from the PIR motion detectors around the front of the warehouse, and as a result no alarms are sent to the monitoring center.
The cameras catch almost every move he makes, they dutifully record the thief for almost six hours as he loads over $300,000 worth of product into his truck, parked in the auto shop. The video record will be great, after the fact, but tonight they just silently record.
The thief makes around fifty thousand dollars an hour for tonight’s work.
The first thing anyone knows of the break-in is Monday morning, long after the thief is gone, long after the merchandise is stolen. It was the best of heists.
The Worst of Heists
Let’s roll the cameras back to the Sunday afternoon, and make one change. The thief still shows up at six pm, and breaks into the auto repair shop next door. He still pulls in his truck and gets to work tearing down the dry-wall between the two businesses. He knows where the motion detectors are, since they are mounted to the walls. What he doesn’t know is where the security robot¹ is on its nightly patrol.
Because this time, the manager has added a mobile security robot to his security system. It goes to work when the manager closes up shop and sets the alarm. It patrols the warehouse area, looking for motion, looking for intruders all night long, all weekend² long. And when it detects a problem, it doesn’t just record the video – it sends the alarm into the monitoring center. It also checks for smoke, fire, high humidity, but tonight that doesn’t matter.
So, when the thief breaks through the last layer of dry-wall and looks into the darkened warehouse, he sees the flickering blue light of the robot on patrol, he sees the red glow of its sensors as it moves across the warehouse floor, and he knows that this break-in is not going to go well. The robot detects the intruder and immediately sends an alert to the monitoring center. It activated its high intensity LED headlights, and transmits close-up, well lit, high definition video of the thief as he pulls his head back through the hole in the wall, and scrambles for his truck, empty handed. The police have already been dispatched to the warehouse, but the robot has done its job, the business owner’s livelihood, his inventory, is safe.
So at worst, the business owner needs to repair the wall, rather than try to replace nearly half a million dollars worth of stock. She doesn’t have to call up her best customers and tell them they are out of luck, they are not going to be able to restock their shelves for a while.
Actually, it is even simpler than that. When the thief was checking out the warehouse last week – he saw the sign in the front window “Protected by Security Robots” and he decided to take his business somewhere else, someplace less well protected.
It was the best of heists,
it was the worst of heists,
it was the age of static security,
it was the age of mobile security robots…..
Where is your Robot?™ Ours are helping businesses stay in business.
Learn more about the Gamma 2 Robotics line of Security Robots, and see if one is right for your critical security needs. If you want to discuss how easy it is put put a security robot to work, give us a call at 303-778-7400
- The robot is described with several option packages installed
- Requires the optional self-charging docking station, available in September of 2014
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.
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.
It was a smallish show, as trade shows go. Only around 50,000 square feet of exhibits. It was kind of a cool show though – the Denver Mini Maker Faire. There were around 150 exhibitors, showing off bleeding-edge new technology alongside seriously retro-tech. A perfect environment for the use of autonomous mobile security robots.
The Vigilant robot wasn’t the only ‘bot there – not by a long shot. The difference was that the other robots were shut down, and would remain so until the show opened again at 9 am the next day. The Vigilant security robot was working. It was about half way through a 12 hour shift as part of the overnight security team. The facility is part of Denver’s National Western Complex, and this is the third event in the last 18 months for which Gamma 2 Robotics‘ robots have provided security. It is almost like coming home for the robots. Of course the exhibit layout was different – every show has its own layout. But it took less time to configure the robot for the new layout than it took the exhibitors to move in, so the robot was ready to roll long before the doors were locked for the night.
This morning (it’s around 2am) the robot is rolling past 3-D printers, air cannons, massive lasers, computer controlled sewing machines, CNC routers, and of course dozens of other robots; but as I said, they are here as displays, while the security robot is doing its job – mile after mile of dull patrolling. As it patrols, it scans for unexpected motion, high temperatures, boxes blocking aisles: the kinds of things that might indicate a potential problem, a potential intruder.
Last night was quiet, just like tonight will probably be. That’s one of the hardest things about the night security job. 99.9% of the time – nothing ever happens, and that is the core problem. It is really hard for people to stay focused, to stay vigilant, when there is nothing to focus on. That’s something computers and robots are good at. The Vigilant robot doesn’t care that it has been up and down this aisle every 10 minutes for the last 7 hours, or for the 12 hours last night. It still does its job of patrolling, observing, and reporting, because that is what is needed to protect lives and property.
For those of you who are numbers people, the robot patrols a 25,000 square foot area, and has four patrols configured. These range from covering the full exhibit area, down to a 5 minute detail scan of the ‘high value’ section. This area is only 8000 square feet but loaded with high tech. The robot is on duty for a 12 hour shift without needing any ‘down time’ for recharging. During its shift the Vigilant robot will travel around 8 miles. It doesn’t move fast – but it just keeps patrolling all night long: keeping its electronic sensors on all the high tech machines on display.
This show is loaded with cutting edge equipment. Between the 3-D scanners, 3-D printers, Laser engravers and loads of artwork, there is at least $250,000 worth of displays and technology here tonight. Next week it will be a different event with a different theme, but the same key problems – keeping the exhibitors and their property safe. But that is no problem for the security robot. It ‘knows’ what its job is and it just keeps patrolling, keeping things safe, Always Vigilant.
Where is your robot? Ours were at work protecting the exhibits at a major show in Denver.
Want More information about the Vigilant Security Robots? Here is our website.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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
“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.
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