Posts Tagged artificial intelligence

Security Robots and the Stock Market

It’s early in the morning, and the news is disturbing.  The stock markets are nervous following yesterday’s drop, and the futures are not encouraging.  What does this have to do with security robots you ask?  Great question!

Security managers have a tough job – the need to keep their business, their employees, and their facilities safe and secure. And they need to do it in a cost effective manner. Sometimes this can be at odds with other goals of the business, a competition for resources. And the economy impacts those resources.

When the economy looks shaky, when the stock markets look weak, businesses react, just as investors react. With the perceived increase in risk (whether the risk is real or not) businesses get conservative – they have to. And that usually means cutting costs – and security is perceived as a cost.  So, a security manager may be looking at reduced operational budgets, and longer term capital expenses may be put on hold.  In spite of this the security manager has to provide that safety and security with reduced resources.

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 the topic of security robots are brought up

This is the same for all the departments in the business, but security faces an additional challenge. Unlike many departments, as the economy gets weaker, the security threat increases. If unemployment rises the incidence of theft, break-ins, and damage increases. So the security manager has a growing problem to defend against at the same time that the resources are shrinking.  It is not just a case of trying to do the same job on less money – the security manager needs to do a better, bigger job on a smaller budget.

This is where security robots enter the picture. The robotics industry thrives in tougher economic times. As budgets get cut, businesses have to look for innovative solutions that provide more bang for the buck. That is exactly what the robotics industry brings to its customers. We have seen this over and over as automation and robotics industries grow during recessions.

Imagine our security manager being told “You need to cut your budget for overnight patrols by 50%.” That means laying off people, there is no way around it. But the needs of the security function remain the same or increase. A security robot can work for less than 1/4 of the cost of the security officer who was laid off. That means putting two security robots to work and still meeting the 50% budget cut. Think about that – twice as many patrols for half the budget.

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

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

Now, these are robots – not people, they do not have the same judgment, the same intelligence, the same instincts. But for many overnight patrols what is needed are the sensors, the mobility, the ability to call in an alarm about an unusual condition. That is a job the robots can do hour after hour, night after night. They patrol, observe, and report to the human security officers – extending an officer’s reach, giving her the ability to be in two, or three, or four places at once.

So while we watch the fluctuations of the markets, you know that there have to be a lot of worried Security Managers, but some of them are asking the right question – “Where is my robot?”


For more information about the Gamma 2 Robotics and the Vigilant Security robots check out our website


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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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Robots Breaking Out

A recent report from Business Insider Intelligence projects explosive growth of over 17% CAGR for the

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.

service robotics markets. We all see the headlines of major companies like Apple, Amazon, and Google investing in the robotics and AI markets – this is just part of the story.

What is changing?

BI suggests that robots need 4 core capabilities to break out of the factory floor: Mobility, Navigation, Perception and the ability to Manipulate objects.

These 4 core abilities are becoming available on robots now, and businesses are screaming for the resulting robots.

Here is the complete article.


Where is your robot?™ Ours are doing dull, dirty, and dangerous jobs so that people don’t have to.


Learn more at Gamma 2 Robotics or call 303-778-7400


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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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A Tale of Two Break-ins

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!

The thief broke in through the wall from the adjoining tenant space.

The thief broke in through the wall from the adjoining tenant space.

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.

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

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

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


  1. The robot is described with several option packages installed
  2. Requires the optional self-charging docking station, available in September of 2014

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Security Robots Invade Los Angeles!

Vigilant Security robot chillin' on the deck after a long day's work

Vigilant Security robot chillin’ on the deck after a long day’s work

Gamma 2 Robotics is running a robot road show this week in LA. Contact us to set up an appointment to meet the security robots, and discuss the impacts of robotics on safety and security.

We will be presenting the capabilities and the economics of adding robots to your current security tool box, and also discussing how to put a security robot to work for your company or your security clients today!

Day one went extremely well, lots of great demos and great discussions. After a hard days work, the robot took time to chill on the balcony:

 

Live demonstrations are the best way to see if a security robot is a good prospect for your next new security officer!

Drop me a line using this form, to set up a meeting.

 

Where is your robot?  One of ours is waiting to meet you in Los Angeles June 16th – 19th.  Call me for details and to set up a private demonstration of the security industry’s hottest new product!

303-725-5814

Gamma 2 Robotics

 

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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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Midnight Robot at the Tradeshow

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 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 exhibitor’s equipment overnight.

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.


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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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