Uber has employed the services of an autonomous, robotic security guard to protect its local driver-inspection lot. The robot is a K5, a 300-pound security robot made by Silicon Valley start-up Knightscope. It’s a stand-in for a human security officer, reports Fusion.
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.
If someone suspicious comes into the lot, or starts messing with a car, the robot can’t tase them or break out any weapons. Instead the robot 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.
Knightscope customers don’t buy 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, Fusion said. “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 Stacy Stephens, Knightscope’s VP of marketing, citing wages of $25 to $35 hour for a human security officer.