The company Knightscope, known for its robot security guard K5, introduced new models - a stationary robot K1 and a four-wheeled rover K7, writes The Verge. The new model is significantly different from the current line of devices. If the existing models of the brand resemble dome-shaped industrial vacuum cleaners on wheels, the novelty Knightscope K7 is more a futuristic buggy.
The K7 rover, 1.5 meters high and almost 3 meters long. K7 is designed for patrolling rough terrain – sand, rocks, mud, lawns, gravel areas, beaches, as well as fairly large areas, including airports, warehouses, solar stations, etc. The K7’s speed is currently limited to 3 mph, but according to the developers, the robot is able to move much faster. The characteristics of the electric propulsion system and the volume of the batteries are not announced yet.
All four wheels of the buggy can rotate at 90°, which allows it not only to unfold in place, but also literally to move sideways.
Like the K5, it moves autonomously but has a complex system of sensors and cameras that transmit audio and video to the operator. K1, meanwhile, does not move, but uses millimeter wave technology to scan visitors for hidden weapons and other metal objects. The team at Knightscope argues that the K1 works better than the frame-scanner metal detector. The robot can be useful in hospitals and airports.
According to the CEO of the company, William Santana Li, Knightscope is, in fact, a “very weird data center.” This is because the core business of the company, essentially, is managing data inputs from its robots. “The only difference is our servers are outside and they're moving," said Li.
"We're developing technology in the long run to be able to predict and prevent crime," said Li. "Crime has one trillion dollar negative economic impact on the United States every year. It's a hidden tax we all pay in blood, tears, and treasure. And our long-term ambition is to literally be able to make the United States the safest country in the world, changing everything for everyone."
Knightscope rents out its robots for $ 7 per hour, although the full cost of K7 is not known yet. This is twice cheaper than the services of a "live" security guard in the US, but it's clear that Knightscope’s robots are not yet able to perform all the work for them. They can patrol offices and streets, detect intruders and scan license plates, but cannot detain them, and clients cannot program them for their own needs. While these robots from Knightscope are more like advanced CCTV cameras, they look impressive.
Similar robots from the company Ademco Security Group began patrolling the streets of Singapore. The S5 robot, 1.6 meters high, moves on four wheels and is equipped with seven cameras that report offenses.
Knightscope is currently focusing on improving the navigation capabilities of its robots, as previous accidents were mainly due to shortcomings in this area. The company is also working on colloquial AI so that robots can interact with the public, warning children and others during patrols.
The company has so far produced 44 samples, which will be delivered to 32 clients in eight countries, and is planning to produce a total of 100 of these robots by the end of 2017.