Could robots replace us all?

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We never thought Robots would be able to replace the human interaction required, when servicing customers in our printing solutions and office supplies business.

But maybe we all have to start looking over our shoulders, after a Silicon Valley company called Knightscope has introduced a range of robots that eradicate the need for foot patrolling security guards, in a range of workplaces and public spaces.

These security robots are called the K3 and K5 Autonomous Data Machines. The robots resemble a “Doctor Who” dalek, or maybe a large mobile rubbish bin depending on your point of view. This is not surprising as when the idea of a security robot comes to mind, you are inclined to think of robots like Robocop or Atlas rather than Pepper.

Knightscope was originally founded in response to the tragic events at Sandy Hook and the Boston Marathon. The founders believed that with a unique combination of hardware and software, they could greatly reduce crime by as much as 50%. They explain their rationale as thus:

“The human attention span during monotonous, boring tasks is only 5-10 minutes. And with employee turnover rates as high as 400%, the security industry is rightfully seeking innovative solutions. Knightscope’s primary goal is to allow customers to utilize the best of Silicon Valley to put machines to work in those routine, monotonous and sometimes dangerous situations, thus freeing up humans to do the more hands-on and strategic activities. Corporate campuses, data centers, shopping malls and big-box retail stores are among the many customers already engaged today (think employee safety, corporate espionage, rogue networks and asset protection).”

They also state:

“This technology changes everything and is especially needed as the world continues to become more and more volatile.”

Utilizing numerous sensors, lasers and a significant amount of code, the K3 and K5 can roam a geo-fenced area autonomously either randomly or based on a particular patrolling algorithm. The K5 is able to detect a vehicle backing up or tailing the machine in a parking lot setting.

Further, the robots are programmed to detect suspicious and unusual behavior and can recall up to 300 number plates a minute, whilst monitoring traffic.

But all is not yet lost, as the robots are equipped with a panic button for emergency scenarios when a real person is required.

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