Although the costs are similar, Vigilant Robots asserts that the robots will be unhindered by human failings like laziness and unreliability. The robots will not fail to show up for work, get distracted, forget to write shift reports, or fail to do their assigned tasks.
Dr. Louise Gunderson, CEO of Vigilant Robots, says that she had no doubt that they could make a “cool” robot, asserting that “that is relatively easy”. The trick, she says, is autonomy, which means that the robots can function without being monitored or driven; “We know this because there are very few examples of true machine intelligence that has been developed into a useful product that is safe in dynamic, human-centric environments.”
Vigilant Robots has done just that, unveiling a robot that will patrol as long as the battery lasts, using the digital map of the site that it is given at installation, and does not require technical language for humans to learn in order to give it instructions. The robot that they invented is one that they believe will be a “game-changer” for security companies, providing a solution to challenges like budget crunches, training, reliability, and motivation.
Whether or not security companies will adopt robots to perform security patrol has yet to be seen, but the impressive technology did make an impact at ASIS 2012. The conference had close to 20,000 attendees and featured almost 200 education session, roundtable events with 100 senior security executives, and speakers that included former U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates.