William Santana Li
Deploying security robots at a company is about more than providing and programming the hardware. There is also an element of “change management” involved in smoothing the way for robots to play a security role working side-by-side with human counterparts. Rising popularity of security robots As security robots increase in popularity, more companies are adapting to such cultural challenges "As security robots increase in popularity, more companies are adapting to such cultural challenges. Many Fortune 100, technology, finance and defense companies have begun using security robots, and some are asking to expand their implementation", says Travis Deyle, CEO and co-founder of Cobalt Robotics. "It is a complex solution that involves merging technology with people." “More people are looking at how they can deploy and test this technology, dipping their toes in the water,” says Deyle. “Financially the risk is low, but culturally it is pretty acute. It is a very visible piece of technology moving through your most sensitive spaces and interacting with employees.” Change management “Doing change management and addressing the cultural implications inside the company are the biggest challenges we face,” Deyle adds. “We have to make sure that people know what the robot is there for, what it does and how it helps them. There is a social contract between companies and employees about what information is being collected and how is it being used.” The technical onboarding of a robot is the easy part, says Deyle. “The robot goes in, maps out the space; it takes about an hour. The bigger part is the cultural onboarding.” The process involves working closely with the company’s communications team to manage how the use of robots is messaged throughout the company. Deyle suggests doing a Q&A event where employees can touch and feel the robot and get comfortable. “We tailor the interaction to the individual company,” he says. Importance of communication Communication with employees, tenants, clients, law enforcement, etc. is very important Communication with employees, tenants, clients, law enforcement, etc. is very important and, if done well, all goes smoothly, agrees William Santana Li, Knightscope Chairman and CEO. “Showing up with a 400-pound, 5-foot-tall autonomous robot, deploying it and not telling anyone what is happening is ill advised!” Knightscope also advises potential end users to identify clearly the areas of improvement needed in a security program to guide the deployment of robots. Beware of “Science Fiction Disease,” whose symptoms include unrealistic expectations or fears emanating from Hollywood depictions of robots over the years. Expectations should be spelled out: Keep ongoing and clear communications between the provider and the client, continuing to make improvements together. Future of robotics and AI Users should also think clearly through their source of funding, including the second and future years of an implementation. Communication is key, involving stakeholders from the CSO to facilities, purchasing to human resources, finance to the CEO. The future of robotics in corporate America is more than the development of the technology. Given advances in artificial intelligence (AI), sensors and software, the technology is the easy part. Thinking more broadly about how robotics can excel in the corporate environment – and make companies safer – is the next big obstacle on the path to effectively using the powerful technology.
Knightscope’s long-term mission is to “make America the safest country in the world,” says William Santana Li, Chairman and CEO. “The company was started six years ago as we had grown tired and horrified by the ongoing violence in our country and decided to do something about it.” But are security robots the solution to crime and violence in the United States? “There are 2+ million law enforcement and security professionals trying to secure 328+ million people across the 50 states,” Mr. Li says. “The math just doesn’t work, which is why our country pays $1+ trillion in negative economic impact annually – a hidden tax we all pay in blood, tears and treasure.” Robots provide professionals with new tools. “We make really smart eyes and ears that operate 24/7/365 for an affordable price,” says Mr. Li. “We have actually operated more than 700,000 hours in the real world, both outdoors and indoors, across 15 states and are now operating across five time zones – fully autonomous without any human intervention.” Utilising robotics and AI AI helps Knightscope robots interact better with humans and perform activities like identifying peopleKnightscope is a security technology company that utilises self-driving technology, robotics and artificial intelligence to provide security professionals additional eyes and ears to do their jobs much more effectively – as well as provide a consistent around-the-clock physical deterrence to help minimise negative behaviour. Knightscope says its K1, K3 and K5 security robots, and accompanying user interface, the Knightscope Security Operations Center (KSOC), continue to make significant contributions to the safety of its client base. Artificial intelligence helps Knightscope robots interact better with humans and perform activities like identifying people, looking up license plates, detecting rogue wireless devices, having a machine-to-human dialogue and, in the future, detecting dangerous objects in a scene automatically. “Our long-term plan is to have the machines be able to see, feel, hear and smell, so advances in sensor capabilities, efforts in sensor fusion, and the future with 5G capabilities will make for profound advances,” says Mr. Li. Facial recognition software at ISC West 2019 was Knightscope’s fourth time exhibiting at ISC West, and they have also exhibited at GSX/ASIS, ISC East, numerous other trade shows, and have hosted some of their own. Mr. Li has seen the reaction to security robots evolve over the years. People are realising that the technology is not science fiction but science fact and looking to see how it can be an integral part of their respective security programs “At first, it was typically ‘what is that?’ or ‘what does it do?’ But the last 12 to 18 months have been very different. There has been much more meaningful, implementation-focussed dialogue, feedback, requests for new features, etc. Now folks are realising that our technology is not science fiction but science fact and looking to see how it can be an integral part of their respective security programs.” Their ISC West presence this year highlighted facial recognition software that utilises deep learning to detect, analyse and compare faces. Pechanga Resort Casino in Temecula, Calif., an existing Knightscope customer, is using the beta format on its K1 security robot platform. Additional benefits of using robots Knightscope has raised over $40 million to develop and deploy its technology and is backed by more than 6,000 family offices, accelerators, funds, private investors and four major corporations, says Mr. Li. As the machines get smarter and more capable over time – the number of applications will become endless" Robots also provide additional benefits beyond security, says Mr. Li, such as branding, community relations and public relations opportunities for clients. “In some cases, our clients have utilised our Concierge feature to allow for human-to-machine customer service interactions,” he says. “We have also been able to showcase and inspire STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) students with practical applications of technology for the good of society. And robot selfies have certainly become a thing.” Endless number of applications In terms of vertical markets, in the near term, Knightscope has seen positive scaling and growth on corporate campuses and at logistics facilities, manufacturing plants, hospitals, casinos, commercial real estate and malls. “As the machines get smarter and more capable over time – the number of applications will become endless,” says Mr. Li. They currently drop new software code every two weeks and new hardware typically a couple of times a year. “In my opinion, it is ill advised for early stage technology companies to utilise B2G (business-to-government) sales as the initial go-to-market strategy,” says Mr. Li. “For Knightscope we have been primarily focussed on B2B (business-to-business) sales and actually until 2017 were geographically constrained to California only. What we are doing is technologically extremely difficult as these are effectively self-driving cars. Additionally, despite the never-ending international interest, we are laser focussed on the United States.”
Knightscope, Inc., a developer of advanced physical security technologies focussed on enhancing U.S. security operations, announced that it is has taken a major step in its commitment to help better secure schools across the country by selecting Clovis Unified School District in California as its beta testing location for a suite of new technologies under development. The Company had prior announced this effort earlier this year when it solicited students to get involved and submit essays on how Knightscope’s fully autonomous security robots could help in a school setting. Security robots to monitor school safety “With over 100,000 schools in the country, we need to develop a new set of tools and technologies as a critical part of our long-term mission to better secure the United States of America,” said William Santana Li, chairman and chief executive officer, Knightscope, Inc. Knightscope’s robots will provide the authoritative presence needed on a school campus and provide actual intelligence by filling in the blind spots"“Being able to utilise a real-world environment to test, sample, and iterate on new capabilities while inspiring students to pursue STEM careers is certainly a winning combination,” continued Li. “As a teacher of thirty years, my philosophy has always been to be proactive instead of reactive, and the idea of security robots monitoring a school is definitely a proactive approach to school safety. Knightscope’s robots will provide the authoritative presence needed on a school campus and provide actual intelligence by filling in the blind spots with their ‘eyes and ears,’” said Clifford A. Nitschke, Jr., AP United States Government and Politics Instructor, Clovis North High School. Trialling a new technology in school safety Mr. Nitschke’s class submitted the winning proposal to Knightscope. “We are honoured to be chosen by Knightscope and to be given the opportunity to pilot a new and exciting technology in the field of school safety.” The Clovis United Unified School District Governing Board is scheduled to meet on January 16, 2019 to formally accept the beta testing program by Knightscope. The meeting is planned to occur at 6:30pm at the Clovis Unified Professional Development Building, 1680 David E Cook Way, Clovis, CA 93611. Assuming an approval by the Board, the parties will determine implementation timing thereafter.
Knightscope, Inc., a developer of advanced physical security technologies focussed on enhancing U.S. security operations, will premiere the all-new, 4th generation crime-fighting K5 fully autonomous security robot and the all-new 6th generation Knightscope Security Operations Center (KSOC) user interface at GSX (Global Security Exchange) 2018, which will take place on September 25 – 27 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Knightscope leveraged its real-world experience of fully autonomous, 24/7 operations for 400,000+ hours, travelling 200,000+ miles across 16 states in 4 time zones to build this new suite of technologies. Additionally, the KSOC will premiere an integration with SureView as a step forward to integrating autonomous security robot solutions within existing frameworks. Innovative solutions against crime prevention Knightscope will exhibit these new offerings at Booth 3117 at GSX, a leading security industry convention with 22,000+ registered attendees. The company will also host a special panel: Knightscope Technology Unveiling: The Spirit of Innovation to showcase its ‘Security Team of the Future’ on Tuesday, September 25 at 2:30pm. “Knightscope is committed to innovation and staying one step ahead of the evolving criminal landscape to keep America safe,” said William Santana Li, chairman and chief executive officer, Knightscope, Inc. “At GSX, we’re excited to offer attendees a glimpse into the future of security, with proven cutting-edge technology that is already making an impact on fighting crime.”