The 1987 film RoboCop introduced the world to the concept of mixing technology with law enforcement in a way that blurred the line between man and machine. But that line has been blurred even more with the introduction of new – and very real – law enforcement technology known as the Knightscope K5 Security Robot. The K5 is now on patrol at several locations in California.
Knightscope, a Mountain View start-up headed by CEO William Li and co-founder Stacy Stephens has managed to secure some $12 million to develop the K5 platform from a list of investors that includes Konica Minolta. The cutting-edge security robot uses much of the same technology that is being developed for driverless cars, including a full array of sensors, cameras, and information processors.
According to news sources, the robots are capable of recognizing potential security threats by monitoring the local environment and comparing collected data against known crime “triggers.” The robot has an onboard microphone to capture noise; a camera with 360-degree sight and recording capabilities; and even the ability to electronically speak and smell. If any of the robot’s sophisticated systems identifies a trigger, it immediately begins sending data to the Knightscope Security Operations Center.
The robots have already proved useful as aids to human security guards at shopping malls. Now Knightscope hopes to encourage others to give them a try as well. Stephens has no illusions of the K5 completely replacing human officers, but he does believe the technology can be a big help in assisting law enforcement. He is betting his company, and the predictive network needed to operate the robots, on it.
Technology Can Make Us Safer
Monitronics is absolutely thrilled by the work that Knightscope is doing in California. We are big believers in the idea that technology can make us safer when developed in the right way and deployed correctly. For example, our HomeTouch home automation platform makes the home both more efficient and secure. Updating an existing Monitronics security system with HomeTouch lets property owners control their security from almost anywhere.
Technology is making us safer by using machines to do what human beings cannot: keep a constant eye on things 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. As Knightscope’s Stephens explained to CBS San Francisco, criminals are not looking for confrontation. They prefer to act as quickly and efficiently as possible, without being challenged. Stephens believes the K5 robot can be effective as a security tool because it instantly challenges criminals. We think the same applies to our technologically advanced security systems and home automation.
Avoid Being Caught
The number one rule among criminals is to avoid being caught. No criminal enterprise is profitable if the criminal cannot execute his or her crimes and stay out of prison at the same time. Things such as the K5 and Monitronics home security significantly increase the chances of a criminal being discovered, apprehended, prosecuted, and convicted. Criminals will do everything in their power to avoid these technologies.
It will be interesting to see how effective the K5 actually is as a crime-fighting tool. If the robot lives up to its potential, more of these futuristic crime-fighting machines could be patrolling streets in California. Combined with state-of-the-art home security systems and home automation, the technologies could make the Golden State’s neighborhoods safer.
- Tech Worm – http://www.techworm.net/2016/01/crime-fighting-robots-now-patrolling-streets-california.html
- Knightscope – http://knightscope.com/