Robot guards. What is this and why are they needed?

Robots, robots. Everyone’s talking about robots. They say that intelligent machines capable of performing almost any job better than humans, over time, take away our jobs. My colleagues on the editorial Board decided to find out and what, in fact, robots will be better humans? As an example, decided to take the robot guards. And the case turned up. One American start-up, the development of such robots were able to collect investments worth about 50 million dollars. Surely modern technology is so cool that they are ready to replace humans?

If you now thought that robot security guard is like “Robocop” with a shotgun at the readythat goes on the territory entrusted to him and watching the scene, flashing his digital eyes – it is better to leave this idea for sci-Fi movies and literature. In reality, quite the opposite. In fact, they look like this:


More like this:

And here it is:

Why the need for security robots?

In fact, the basic idea implementing the idea of developing a robotic security guards is that the people of this profession spend most of their time, almost doing nothing. Even in the case of some emergency situation (someone broke the window trying to break into the room; the fire started; the cat giving birth under the door or from a tree couldn’t get down) their main task, according to the instructions, is that as soon as possible to inform all possible ways to the appropriate service, and then directly act on the situation. In other words, the guards should walk around buildings and offices (and within them), controlling the trusted zone and sometimes to communicate with people. And (this is important) if you notice anything suspicious, you should immediately report it.

Manufacturers of robotic security guards in the world not so much. Can be counted on the fingers of one hand, if not to take into account quite a full consumer goods from a famous Chinese website. Their development is in the United States, China, Japan, and India. In Russia more or less well-known manufacturers of such robots are SMP Robotics, has developed a wheeled robot “Tral Patrol” and “Promobot”.

The current capabilities of robot guards

Despite the fact that it’s already 2019 (nearly a quarter of the 21-century has passed) are security robots in its development not far away from the sensors of the alarm. In fact, it’s the same set of cameras and surveillance equipment, only now they are still in use together with the mobile platform. In particular, it is possible to distinguish platform-carts (4-and 6-wheel with high traffic), for outdoor use, as well as 2-and 3-wheel platform is designed to work indoors.

In General, everything on the market today offers the same feature set:

  • Equipped with a laser radar (lidar), which allows you to scan space to the subject of foreign objects and subjects;
  • A set of cameras (optical, infrared, and so on);
  • Various sensors (temperature, toxic gases and so on), allowing to monitor fire and biological security;
  • In some cases, digital display, through which the robot can interact with people.

Finding a contingency, a robot-a security guard usually makes it known to the owner. In some cases, the machine can also communicate with the security companies, using, for example, przepisanie messages or sending them photos or video of the suspicious activity is detected. In principle, its function and end. According to Pavel Dmitriev, one of our authors, “there is only the crossword puzzles to teach guessing” and before us a type of the living guard.

Where the use of robots patrol?

In the West the popularity of the use of robots is quite high. For example, Microsoft became one of the first to hire a robot for patrolling and monitoring around their own office in Silicon valley, quickly set a new trend. Some companies, mostly U.S., followed the example of Windows developer and become to purchase, or rather rent out the robots.

The first practice was not quite the same, as promised by the manufacturer. There were reports that one of the robots decided to drown herself in the fountain “lost in three pines”. Another knocked down a child by pinning him in the hospital. The company in this case tried to justify and then to challenge the amount of compensation at the suit of the parents. Well, can be attributed to the shortcomings of the first models. It was still a couple of years ago. The new machines are better oriented and not crash into people. Only the use of them has not increased.

Robot security guard decided to take a dip

Robot guards in Russia

Robotic security guards in Russia are also developing. One of the early and unsuccessful attempts to create a robot patrol is the development of Perm P-BOT 001. A machine weighing 300 kilograms in 2007 tried to use for the protection of public order. It turned out, in the winter it can’t work. After the rain “buggy”. In addition, his administration was engaged in statement. Dismissed from service in the same year. Not the operator, the robot.

More modern development is the “Promobot”, also from Perm, by the way. The machine is available in various configurations including in the form of a guard robot. But in fact it’s the usual robot-informer (“Hello”, “goodbye”, “go there, there and then”), “adapted” for use as a “police robot”. Practical utility is also questionable.

There’s also a standard set of digital camera functionality support face detection, connected to a single database of persons (requires connection to the Internet), standalone DVRs memory for two weeks on the embedded media. Still, he may determine “the words of a potential danger” (“bomb”, “terrorist,” “explosion,” and so on). It is easy to imagine a situation that penetrated into the building incognito terrorists, where is the robot that will talk to each other only about terrorism and bombs. Then, the robot will signal a real COP, and those they caught. Yes.

Four – “Tral Patrol” is designed for outdoor operation, but the functions of it the same

See also: Robots hire people to work in Russia

How much do they cost?

All of the above machines, like all the others, which were not specified, but are included in the same category in common – they are useless from the point of view of opportunities of physical assistance if necessary. And what kind of benefits can say, if they are not able to even defend himself. Examples cited on our website. It is clear that the formulation, but in reality everything is happening. These robots pose no threat to those same vandals and other intruders. Latest just run away until the moment that the machine will call in reinforcements. Yes, they are equipped with cameras. Some can identify people’s faces, but until they get to the offender, and they move slowly, to be clear, those without problems will run away.

See also: When will we have a normal home robot assistants?

Financial benefit from the use of such robots is also questionable, despite the fact that this aspect is placed as one of the main advantages. In fact, many of the manufacturers of these robots offer additional paid services, without which, the machine actually becomes completely useless, limited to only the most basic set of features. For example, one of the Western companies offers the rent of your robot at the price of $ 8 (the price, incidentally has been reduced, it used to be 8.9 USD) per hour, or about $ 6,000 per month. By default, the robot shoots video at 720p. At wide angle the camera person suspects if visible, it is blurry and small. Recording in 4K will cost an additional $ 300 per month.

The entire territory which will be used by the robot must be equipped with a wireless network Wi-Fi (additional costs). The opportunity, as the scanning of automobile license plates (up to 300) will cost the customer another $ 400 per month. And talk he will do to people (“Welcome!” and “Stand back, please!”) only for an additional $ 500 per month. The robot also includes the alarm detection zones of high temperature (fire), but these functions are again not included in the basic kit. The cost of this package of options is still $ 600 per month.

In the end, we get a little more than $ 7,500. My colleagues on the editorial Board got acquainted with the labor market in the United States and realized that it is easier for a company to hire three living security guards and pay them on average $ 2,500 (including insurance and other compensation) than to rent a single robot.

In Russia the situation is similar. However, as described above, the company “Promobot” SMP Robotics and rent, and sell their cars. Four-wheeled surveillance camera will cost one million two hundred thousand rubles, and humanoid “Promobot” from 1.2 to 1.7 million, according to the information on their website. The average salary of security guard in Russia is 20-30 thousand rubles (and in fact even less). Draw your own conclusions.

Robotic security guards — a common advertising trick

In the United States, particularly in the “Silicon valley” many believe that social problems can be solved with the help of high technology. Startups vying to offer high-tech solutions in security, but often they are just dishonest self-promotion and a source of new problems. At the moment, these robots are just a publicity stunt. The ability for large companies to show off to competitors and to their customers – see what we have thing. Real practical benefit from them very little.

Also interesting: In San Francisco opened a robotic cafe

At least now there is a situation very similar to the case of a juicer for $ 400 (four hundred dollars!). With the Internet, Wi-Fi, digital. All as expected. Expensive, rich. However, what got vegetables and fruits it doesn’t work – you need to buy ingredients for smoothies in special bags for $ 8. Could squeeze, maybe not to squeeze. That’s the current robotic security guards — you can ride on wheels and can not go. For everything else – a separate fee.

No, robots are certainly necessary. In the future, they will be able to perform many of the dirty work for humans. But now their functionality leaves much to be desired. And the prices. According to the founder Michael Queen, the situation of the latter is now unlikely to change. On the market of such proposals is not enough, consider exclusive. As “iPhone”.

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