The scene was like something straight out of a futuristic science fiction film, with artificial-intelligence boosted robot security guards patrolling the premises of one of the world’s most recognizable technology hub, the Microsoft campus in Silicon Valley.
As Knightscope’s K5 robots patrolled the campus, the sight of several 300-pound metallic guards ready to stop intruders evoked a feeling of both fear and amusement. Fear in the sense that the prospects of the machines ruling humans appear to as real as it has ever been, and yet amusing because of the thought that technology is slowly helping turn past dreams into reality.
The company behind the K5 robots plan to make the automated guards available to anyone who can afford them. The plan is to have the robots available for rental to businesses and companies. How this will impact the security business is still unknown, but what is clear here is that the machines can save businesses human resources, which may be better off being spent on research and development, as well as other more substantial purposes.
Some people may be hesitant because of the potential that humans may be exposed to dangers due to the existence of these autonomous data machines, as the company behind likes to call these robots. In other words, there may be a chance that these robots would turn on humans as seen in several Hollywood movies.
However, such a situation has a zero chance of occurring as the K5 robot guards are not equipped with anything that could potentially hurt people. What they have are several high-definition cameras that can monitor the robots’ environments from all angles. These robots are capable of recognizing car plate numbers, sounding built-in alarms, and sending signals to a central headquarter when a situation that qualifies as a security breach is recognized based on their A.I. inferences.
As they are now programed, the robot security guards are not capable of physically diffusing commotions and other security situations. The best that the robots can do is to trigger alarms in the hopes that the noise would foil any security breach. In some cases, and if the A.I. finds it necessary, the robots will send a signal to H.Q. through their built-in WiFi, to summon human help.
It cannot be denied that these robots, as gentle as they are, can be a bit scary. No thanks to apocalyptic films where robot law enforcers are
portrayed as villainous creations that could easily turn against their human creators. Indeed, the thought of being cornered by robot guards is a scarier than an image of a burly bouncer throwing a scrawny gate-crasher out of an exclusive celebrity-only club.
That being said, having these robots can be a boon to businesses that are looking to cut down on expensive human labor without compromising their operations. While full integration of these robot guards into society may still be several years away and hopefully many more test runs to go in order to achieve perfection, the introduction of K5 is definitely a step in the right direction.