Security robots offer autonomous surveillance

A.I. and robotics have come a long way since the first iterations of digital personal assistants to today’s various home devices. Security robots are the next wave, patrolling the office and the street to assist in surveillance and safety. The majority of youth are open to such advancements as long as they don't infringe too closely on their privacy; 86% of Gen Zs believe that technology makes their lives better rather than more stressful.


Knightscope produces multiple versions of a surveillance robot, though use of its largest K5 for outdoor purposes has been controversial. Even though they’re meant to ensure safety, the robots, which were employed to autonomously roam through San Francisco, were criticized for disrupting the privacy of homeless people who live on the streets. The 5-foot-tall K5 takes 360-degree video which is monitored by a human security personnel. In an emergency situation, the person can speak through the robot to communicate with anyone nearby. Rather than interfering to enforce the law, the Knightscope is intended to deter crime by its presence.


The patrol robot from Turing combines an autonomous security device and a Segway. The Nimbo robot is able to patrol on its own, recording video and even giving an audiovisual warning to humans who it deems as trespassing, but its unique feature is a ride-along mode which can carry a passenger at speeds up to 11 MPH. The Nimbo’s design also makes it sturdier than some security robots, able to traverse more rough terrain, and the device can be customized to integrate with existing security systems.


Designed by Cobalt Robotics Inc. and fuseproject, the Cobalt is an office security robot. Rather than attempting to anthropomorphize the device into a friendly robot, the team intentionally kept the design technical. The robot navigates on a wheeled base, boosting surveillance around the office using multiple cameras, including a thermal one, a laser detection system, and smoke detectors. Cobalt can record, track, and report on office activity to bolster security provided by human guards.