William Santana Li is CEO of Knightscope, whose autonomous security robots are patrolling 24/7 at malls, corporate campuses, manufacturing facilities, financial services units, stadiums, airports, hospitals, casinos, commercial property, residential and many more.
Santana Li says Knightscope’s long-term vision is “to literally be able to make the United States the safest country in the world, changing everything for everyone.”
“This is a crazy combination of artificial intelligence, self-driving autonomous technology, robotics and analytics in something that’s actually useful for society.”
Crime fighting robots
The company holds contracts in 16 states across four time zones, where the robots are rented to clients for between $6 and $12 per hour.Santana Li says Knightscope K5 can read 1,200 license plates a minute to, for example, pick out the license plate of a disgruntled former employee who has returned to the premises.
Knightscope robots successes include assisting law enforcement in issuing an arrest warrant for a sexual predator, tracking down a vandal, deterring vehicle break-ins and apprehending a thief in a retail environment. And we’re just getting started, Santana Li says.
How the robots work
The robot sees its world by coating it with lasers and taking 360-degree videos while autonomously patrolling its domain. Simultaneously, a human security guard in an on-site control room monitors this feed for anything untoward.
Among the robots’ capabilities are the ability to record license plates, detect people, capture thermal imaging, provide 360 degree video, make broadcasts, provide intercom activity and find mobile devices within a set perimeter.If you get in the robot’s way, it says excuse me. In the event of an emergency, the security guard can speak through the robot to alert nearby humans.
Clients have assigned names to their robots, including Daddy, Rosie, Deputy Metro, El-iot, Harr-iot, RoboDoc, B3PO and Officer Alex Murphy. People love taking selfies with the robots, and some have even turned up with lipstick.
Are Knightscope robots going to eliminate jobs? Absolutely not, Santana Li insists. The robots are not for enforcement,” says Santana Li. “It’s for monitoring and giving an understanding of the situation for those humans to do their jobs much more effectively.” The Knightscope Security Operations Center (KSOC), provides clients across the U.S. with a 24/7 force multiplier effect.
What robots won’t do
Knightscope robots are implemented in concert with both private and municipal security firms and professionals using a MaaS (Machine as a Service) business model that relies on a simple but powerful formula: Software + Hardware + Human Capability.
Among the things the Knightscope robots won’t do: take a nap at work or microwave fish in the break room.
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B.L. Ochman is an accomplished business strategist, content creator, growth hacker, podcast producer and journalist. She is co-producer and co-host of the award-winning podcast, Beyond Social Media Show.