Posts Tagged Security robot

Robot Shop assistant – is it too early?

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

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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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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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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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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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Security Robots and the Internet of Things

Hon, did I leave the monthly report up in the kitchen?”  Steve’s voice floated up from the home office, and Julie looked around the kitchen.  “No, I don’t see it up here Steve. Where else might you have left it?”

Darn, I wonder if I left it on my desk at the store,” Steve muttered. It was almost  9 pm and the store would be closed up and everyone gone.  Steve went upstairs to the kitchen.  “I don’t want to drive all the way down to the store, if the report isn’t there,” he told Julie, ” It would take me an hour to get there and back.”

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.

Well, that’s easy to check,” said his wife.  She walked over to the tablet computer that she had been using to check on flights, and logged into the security portal for their business.  After using the two factor authentication, a secure connection was setup. She sent a command to the Vigilant security robot that was currently patrolling the warehouse area. The robot stopped its patrol,  went to the office area and over to Steve’s desk.

Julie activated the on-board camera system and used the camera controls to scan the top of Steve’s desk. “Steve, the report is not on your desk, anywhere else it might be?” Steve thought for a moment, “Wait, I remember! I had it on top of the box of samples I put in the trunk. I’ll bet that’s where it is.”  As he went to the garage to check the trunk of his car, Julie pulled up the shift report from the Security Robot, and noticed that there had been reports of break-ins through high windows in other warehouses in the area. She quickly told the robot to focus more patrol time in the warehouse, and to do a high-visibility patrol – activating its headlights as it passed the windows.

Steve came back from the garage with the report in his hand and mentioned that he would have been really mad if he had had to drive all the way down to the office only to find that the report wasn’t there.

As the Internet of Things continues to grow, we will experience incidents like this more and more frequently.  We will continue to have more access and more control over every day actions, regardless of where we are in the world at the time.  The Security Robots available from Gamma 2 Robotics are already ‘internet aware’ and give their owners unprecedented control of their physical security assets – when you need them, where you need them!

To learn more about the capabilities of Vigilant Security Robots and The Internet of Things, contact us by web or phone: +1 303.778.7400


Where is your robot?™  Our  American-made security robots are at work keeping people and property safe and secure.


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Security Robotics and CIOs – The Gartner Group

Later this month, the Gamma 2 Robotics security robots will be at the upcoming Gartner CIO Leadership Forum. No, they are not switching professions. But, as the technology for securing critical corporate information becomes more sophisticated, it relies on the same infrastructure as the system it protects. Every byte of electronic information is written on a hard drive somewhere, whether it is in your dedicated server room, or in the cloud, and some CIO has the responsibility of protecting that data.

Robot patrolling the receiving dock, and monitoring changing temperatures.

Robot patrolling the receiving dock, and monitoring changing temperatures.

These advances mean that across the C-suite, more knowledge and understanding of the impacts and benefits of advanced security tech is needed. We will be one of a select group presenting to the CIO Leadership Forum, and talking with the CIO’s about the kind of technology they are going to be relying on to do their jobs well.

For more information check out Gamma 2 Robotics, and the CIO Leadership Forum.

 

Where is your robot?® Ours will be chatting with world leading Chief Information Officers in Phoenix as part of the Gartner CIO leadership Forum.

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Threat Level: Elevated

Mobile robot patrolling garage

The Vigilus Mobile Camera Platform Robot on patrol in a warehouse in Denver, CO. The security robot is manufactured by Vigilant Robots.

The Vigilus® security robot went on duty at 19:00.
It powered up, and ran a complete set of self-diagnostic tests. It logged that it was at 99.6% effectiveness.Its job was to provide security patrols until 08:00 tomorrow, covering the electronics warehouse and the front office. It would move between these two areas of the building automatically, and scan for intruders, smoke or fire, and any unexpected movement in the space.

For a human this would be a cold and lonely shift, and it would take strong discipline to stay alert and focused.  And, of course, the human would require relief after only  eight to ten hours, while the security robot could do the thirteen hour patrol, and still have battery reserves to handle any incidents.

The business owner knew that according to the most recent published police reports, there had been a series of break-ins in the neighborhood.  They involved people coming through high windows in the warehouses, and leaving through the garage door with all the loot.  In many cases the doors were alarmed, but the windows (over eight feet from the ground) were not. So the alarms went off when the garage doors were opened, but by then the thieves were on their way out.

High windows are often vulnerable, and may not be included in the alarm system.

High windows are often vulnerable, and may not be included in the alarm system.

She quickly selected the patrol schedule that spent twice as much time in the warehouse side of the building, and run the high-visibility patrols, which would cause the robot to activate its headlights when patrolling by the windows. The robot logged the new instructions and went to work, focusing its patrols on the areas that were most at risk. After the crime patterns changed, the owner would request a new pattern of patrols – targeted for the exact types of activity for the area.

As all Security Managers know, the world is constantly changing and it is critical to be able to react to changing conditions.  Threats come and go, and resources must be deployed in response to today’s conditions not last month’s or last year’s situation.  But keeping current with the changing threat profiles can be a lot of work, and can lead to new challenges for the security team. With fixed sensors and cameras, it can be impossible to adapt to changes on a week by week basis, yet we all know that our systems should adapt to the current conditions. As simply as a Security Manager might tell Bob “There have been a number of break-ins on the warehouse side around here, so pay extra attention the back;” the security robot can adapt its patrols in response to current threats.  As it happened this was a quiet night.  Was it due to the robot activating its headlights every time it went by the windows in the warehouse?

Want to learn more about putting a Vigilus® security robot to work?  Contact Vigilant Robots at +1.303.778.7400, or check out our website!


Where is your robot?®  Ours are made in America by Vigilant Robots

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