Denver, Colo-based Gamma Two Robotics’ security robot ‘Vigilus’ recently completed a full day’s work, patrolling a parking garage for eight hours. And it did it all autonomously. No person helped the robot, told it how to navigate the garage, when to yield to moving cars, nor how to avoid obstacles in its path.
“For robots to be truly useful, they have to operate in dynamic, human-centric environments. Robots must be able to reason about their environment, make decisions regarding anomalies, and react appropriately, all the while completing their assigned tasks” said co-inventor Dr. Louise Gunderson.
“People get bored, have stressors that distract them, or physically don’t feel up to the challenge of patrolling a cold parking garage for a full shift, said Dr. James Gunderson, the robots’ other inventor.
“Our robots have a Cybernetic Brain that gives them the ability to make appropriate decisions in a given environment, react, and keep on going.”
The Vigilus model of robot has been designed to patrol spaces, such as warehouses, event centers, museums, and art galleries, at night when these places are largely unoccupied. Though designed for “night patrol” the robot can discern the difference between people and objects and maneuver around both if necessary. In addition to the camera, the robot can carry a variety of sensors to monitor for conditions such as temperature, smoke, water, and hazardous gases. If user-defined thresholds are exceeded, the robot will alert the humans in the Security Command Center (SCC). In the near future the robot will be able to discern minute changes in the environment, such as a chair that has been moved, and alert humans to the changed condition.
The robot can patrol for an extended period of time without a break, unlike its human counterparts. The robot has been designed to fill a void in the job market. “Even in these uncertain economic times, with 8.5% unemployment nationwide, an average of 1500 ‘patrol and report’ security officer jobs remain unfulfilled, meaning there are hundreds of businesses that are not protected,” said co-inventor Dr. James Gunderson. “That may seem incredible, but these sorts of jobs often pay minimum wage, require passing of a background check and drug test, are disruptive to family and social life, and are, from my personal experience, incredibly dull.”
The Vigilus model will be available by the third quarter of this year, at a cost that is less than a one-year fully-burdened salary for a security officer.
SOURCE: Gamma Two Robotics