Can you imagine nowadays entering into the company that you are working for having a robot officer security at the entrance? Seems more science fiction than reality, but in the lab of a Silicon Valley startup was born the first advanced security robot that it does not look like a telepresence robot or a wheel based spy robot, even it does not look like the well-known R2D2. Really!
Probably the K5 is not just a telepresence robot used as a real-time audio/video distributor on a desktop or any other device, even a wheel based spy robot who has the ability to climbing stairs, it is a machinery that include both concepts together with additional advanced technology like a radar, laser range finder, or sensor to monitor ambient air.
I have to admit that the robot has potential to replace the presence of a human security guard in a school, a museum, or in a corporation, but in the same time is a challenge to use it easily in a world not really accustomed with robots. The security robot will work just for a promotional price of several dollars per hour, and if you have a renewable energy source, it will work definitely free.
The technology was invented to be used, and thus it can be seen at every step in the K5. If you, as an operator, need video images on day and night at 360-degrees or sounds from the environment, or if you think that is something in the air that can cause problems, or if you want to scan the license plates of a suspicious car, all of these are like a playing on a PlayStation when you’re connected to the K5.
With a well-known database of data collected over time, the Knightscope says that all these data could be analyzed and help to prevent security issues, and for managers creates the opportunity to take business decisions based on these reports.
Design and Technology
We’re accustomed with K5 design, and this is not due to a manufacturing company, it is a well-known design inspired from the R2D2. With small changes in appearance, the K5 looks amazing for a security robot even if in some areas looks like a spaceship.
The K5 has a height of 1,524mm (60-inch), a total of 914mm (36-inch) in length, and a total weight of 136Kg (300 pounds). With these measures and his weight, the K5 impose respect without too much effort.
The head of the robot is transparent with a good reason, there are located the most important sensors for scanning and detection. A network of sensors including here lidar, radar, ultrasonic, distance, air quality, video camera, or microphone surrounds the body. It can see everything in front, back, left, or right, it has eyes to see at 360 degrees.
Ultrasonic sensors, video camera or microphones are quite common components in robotics, but there are much more than that and so far, I could not imagine a security robot with radar, lidar, thermal imaging or air quality sensors.
The K5 has the ability to work autonomously while a wide range of sensors keeps the robot far away from obstacles.
Advanced features as face recognition system are planned to be included in the next releases, also as many other technologies to have the perfect metal and plastic security officer.
All the data collected from the sensor network is transmitted to a server via a wireless connection, and the next step is to start processing all this information.
In the bottom part are located the batteries, motors and the four wheels that have the mission to guide the robot body everywhere.
To finish my first article about a professional tool for security, I hope that this project will continue and will not end up in a security robot that catches other robots while stealing electricity.