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Illustration by Security Management

AI Robot on Patrol

Kenton Brothers Inc., a security company based in Kansas City, Missouri, has employed a security robot with artificial intelligence to patrol its office, KCTV reports.

The robot, which is from Cobalt Robotics, patrols around at a speed of about two miles per hour. Its artificial intelligence is designed to detect safety hazards and intruders.

“Simon has become a member of our family and yes, I just called it Simon. We've named it,” Kenton Brothers Vice President David Strickland told KCTV on Wednesday.

According to Strickland, the robot has more than 60 sensors that scan for different factors, such as temperature and radiation. It can also detect smoke, hazardous spills, open doors or windows, and other things. If a person steps in front of it, its sensors allow it to stop. The robot combines these sensors with other artificial intelligence features.

If the robot detects a problem, it contacts a Cobalt specialist who assesses what actions should be taken, and if police need to be called.

For example, when Kenton Brothers hired a new cleaning crew, the robot noticed. The robot alerted the specialist and conveyed a message:  there are different people that I am not used to seeing in the building, according to Strickland.

“Simon the Cobalt Robot is like having a really cool celebrity uncle that lives with you and watches over you. We find ourselves constantly humanizing him and find him endearing,” Strickland writes on the company’s website blog.

“If it’s late at night, and you are nervous in the building, Simon can stay by your side and escort you to the parking lot,” Strickland continues. “He can be the watchful protector that you may need to feel secure.”

“I can honestly say we had no idea how much of an impact he would have on us, but we LOVE having him around,” Strickland adds. “Yep–used the word love to talk about our robot! We just did that!”

For more information on robot security patrols, see the “Force Multiplier” story from the Security Management supplement Security Technology.