Uber Deploys Security Robot to Patrol Parking Lot

The robot is equipped with multiple high-definition cameras for 360-degree vision, a thermal camera, a laser rangefinder, a weather sensor and more.

SAN FRANCISCO – Uber is among the latest organizations to employ the guarding services of K5, a 300-pound security robot manufactured and marketed by Silicon Valley start-up Knightscope.

Fusion.net posted a story describing how the five-foot-tall, egg-shaped robot wheels around Uber’s inspection lot near Mission Bay in San Francisco. K5 serves as a stand-in for a human security guard, Stacy Stephens, Knightscope’s vice president of marketing, told the news and entertainment Web site.

The robot has multiple high-definition cameras for 360-degree vision, a thermal camera, a laser rangefinder, a weather sensor, a license-plate recognition camera, four microphones, and person recognition capabilities. Once set up in a geofenced area, “it roams around looking for anomalies,” Stephens said.

The robot is not equipped to take physical action against criminal action it detects. Instead, K5 can set off an alarm, send a signal to human security personnel, and record everything that person does to be used against them later by police, according to the article.

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Knightscope customers do not purchase the machines. They rent them, usually two at a time, so one can charge its battery while the other patrols. The cost is $7 an hour.

“For the cost of a single-shift security guard, you get a machine that will patrol for 24 hours a day 7 days a week,” said Stephens, citing wages of $25 to $35 hour for a human security guard. Stephens said two large security companies have already signed deals with Knightscope.

Uber did not respond to requests for comment from Fusion. Stephens said the lot on Vermont Street is the only one for which Uber has hired robots.

Knightscope, which launched in beta in 2014, has so far only deployed its robots in California locations. Stephens says you’ll find them at corporate campuses, logistics centers, shopping centers, and data centers.



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