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Another Police Department: The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs;

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We could not be prouder to have the opportunity to partner with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Police Department!  This is our first agreement on the federal level, and it expands our growth in healthcare and law enforcement, all the while supporting the care and safety of our veterans during their visits to the Audie L. Murphy Memorial Veteran’s Hospital in San Antonio, Texas.  It’s admirable to see the VA adopt cutting edge technology as they strive to provide the best possible experience for everyone that visits their healthcare system.

We could dive right into this use case to tell you all the great things the K5 Autonomous Security Robot will do at the VA and why they’ve partnered with us, but we’re not. Instead, we’re going to draw your attention to the name on this hospital.  We have reason to pause for a moment to better understand and appreciate the individual, Audie Leon Murphy, and what he did for our country.  So, we share this with you as a tribute to his memory.

Audie Leon Murphy was a legend in his own time as a war hero, movie actor, songwriter and poet.  He made a lasting imprint on American history and is another amazing example of The Greatest Generation. He is the most decorated soldier of World War II.

Audie was born to Texas sharecroppers in 1924.  When he was just 17 years old, at 5’5” tall and weighing 110 pounds, he tried to join the Marines and the paratroopers, but neither would have him.  Falsifying his birth certificate so that he appeared to be 18, he settled on the infantry and enlisted in the Army in 1942.  Throughout his three years of active service, Murphy fought in nine major campaigns in the European theatre.  He received every medal the Army had to offer including two Silver Stars and three Purple Hearts.  He received the Medal of Honor for his valor and medals from France and Belgium, too.

Through some 400 days spent fighting on the front lines, he earned a total of 33 military awards, medals, and citations.

In June 1945, he returned home from Europe a hero and was greeted with parades and elaborate banquets.  LIFE magazine honored the baby-faced soldier by putting him on the cover of its July 16, 1945 issue.  Discharged from the Army on September 21, 1945, Audie went to Hollywood at the invitation of movie star James Cagney.  Living in California for the remainder of his life, he was closely associated with the movie industry, both as an actor and as a producer.  In 1949, Murphy published his autobiography, To Hell and Back.  The book quickly became a national bestseller, and in 1955 he portrayed himself in the film version of his book.  The movie was a hit and held Universal Studio’s record as its highest-grossing motion picture until 1975.  Murphy would go on to make 44 feature films in all.

Sadly, Audie died on May 28, 1971 at the age of 45 in a plane crash near Roanoke, Virginia.  He was buried with full military honors in Arlington National Cemetery.

We greatly appreciate our veterans and are proud to support, in our own small way, the women and men who have bravely fought for our country as they visit the Audie L. Murphy Memorial Veteran’s Hospital.  You have our sincere and undying gratitude for your service to this amazing country of ours.  Know that our Autonomous Security Robots are delivering a tall and proud Texas salute to each and every one of you visiting the Hospital and wishing you the best of health.

DISCLAIMER: The above is a statement of fact and is not intended to be an endorsement of Knightscope products, technologies, or its services.

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Knightscope Scores a Win Against Domestic Violence;

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Unexpected events can happen at any place, at any time.  When we talk about securing the workplace, many times we are referencing the typical events faced such as unauthorized entry onto the premise, employee theft, cyber threats, etc.  But what about domestic violence?  The U.S. Department of Labor (DoL) reports that domestic violence events can cost employers upwards of $1.8 billion dollars in lost productivity from employees and up to 8 million days of paid work leave annually due to Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) requests and vacation/comp time used for employees to seek treatment or allow for recovery.

Needless to say, domestic violence incidents are extremely dangerous.  Having responded to hundreds of domestic calls in our careers, we can recall only a very few that did not end up in someone resisting arrest or worse.  These are highly trained, well equipped police officers with back up, 35 lbs of gear, a ballistic vest and a side arm that are responding to these calls and, for most police agencies, it is required that at a minimum two officers respond for safety reasons.  Why?  Because they are so unpredictable, highly emotional and unbelievably dangerous – remember, they are on their own turf with a variety of weapons available to them and at their fingertips.  We certainly do not want an unarmed, ill-equipped, but well intentioned, security officer attempting to de-escalate a situation such as this. For this reason, security professionals want to take every opportunity to ensure that they can gather information, secure the location, and keep employees safe while the police respond.

If you are not familiar with the “General Duty Clause” outlined in the DoL’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards, it basically states that ALL employers need to provide a safe working environment from recognized hazards.  As a security practitioner we recognize that our employees’ personal lives may, at some point, creep onto our property and we have a duty to safeguard them from the potential threats associated with that.  OSHA points out that a solid domestic violence prevention plan in the workplace is to assess the location and identify ways to mitigate these instances.  It is recommended that written policies, awareness training and control methods be put into place to reduce the likelihood of these instances.

The Crime Fighting Win

Now let’s discuss a real case that was shared with our Client Experience team recently.  A young lady was picked up by a male subject from her place of employment to go to lunch. The couple returned after being gone for roughly an hour and an argument was taking place inside the vehicle as it drove into the lot and parked.  At that point, the situation escalated with the male subject violently striking the female in the face.

The female exited the vehicle and reported the attack to the security team.  During a video review with local law enforcement, it was found that although the entry and exit of the vehicle was captured by pole mounted HD cameras, it did not provide a sufficient view for the security team or law enforcement to see the assault.

The security manager then went to their Knightscope Security Operations Center (KSOC) and pulled the video from their Autonomous Security Robot.  The entire incident that was captured at eye level and in full high definition.  Not only was the entire incident recorded, but it was captured at eye-level where the actual assault was in plain view the entire time.  The video was successfully saved, downloaded and turned over to law enforcement and a prosecution followed.  It was a win for Knightscope, its client organization and for the employee!

This is a wonderful example of a company looking out for its employees.  Although they could not stop the incident from occurring, they had all the applicable security technologies in place to bring justice to their female employee and effectively place the bad guy in jail. Had Knightscope’s ASR not been in place, it would have been a prolonged incident to attempt to end.  With the undeniable proof of the assault, it was yet another slam dunk case for our client and local law enforcement.

As you are walking around your the places you visit, work, study, live and play and take a moment to think about the possibilities of different events occurring in your area.  Does the security technology meet the needs?  Is there something that could be done better? Perhaps Knightscope can help!

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End of Campaign Press Roundup!;

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Throughout Knightscope’s campaign our technology and traction have been featured throughout numerous outlets.  Here’s a roundup of a few of them for you as we close our current Reg. A+ offering ahead of July 20, 2020!

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‘RoboCop’ makes debut at California police department

A California police department has rolled out a new crime-fighting tool. “RoboCop” reported for duty as the newest member of the Huntington Park Police Force. It will patrol city parks and buildings, and keep a digital eye out for trouble. Click to watch here.

Knightscope CEO on Fox Business w/ Neil Cavuto

William Santana Li, Chairman and CEO, Knightscope, Inc. discusses impact of AI and Robotics on jobs with Neil Cavuto.

Knightscope using their robot technology to enhance security

Knightscope CEO William Santana Li chatted with Proactive’s Steve Darling at the 12th annual LD Micro Conference in Bel Air, California.

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As seen on CBS’s Innovation Nation with Mo Rocca

These security robots are helping keep public areas safe (click to watch here)! #InnovationNation

Mr. Wonderful

Knightscope’s CEO, William Santana Li, was interviewed by StartEngine’s strategic advisor, Kevin O’Leary, to dig into the business details.

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Preparing for Your New Robot;

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Preparing to implement new technology can be a daunting process. The Knightscope team understands this, so we have taken precise steps to make this not only an enjoyable process, but one that runs as smoothly and efficiently as possible.

For those of you who are parents, we wrote the “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” equivalent for your Autonomous Security Robots (ASRs) after years of experience deploying across the U.S. in a multitude of environments.  Once you sign a contract, we provide you with a step-by-step guide of what’s to come in the time leading up to the delivery of your ASR(s) including, but not limited to, site reviews, action items, phone calls to review progress, graphic design assistance and customizing configurations for the deployment. Let us look at a few of these items in more detail.

Site Review

The site review is one of the most critical processes in planning for your deployment. When Knightscope’s Client Development team initiates a new deployment, our Client Experience (CX) – staffed with law enforcement experts and Certified Protection Professionals (CPP) – and Deployment teams jump into action. These two teams consider the robot’s abilities, each site’s unique layout, terrain, and the your security concerns (problems you are trying to solve) to build out a plan for patrol routes, key zones and times of operation, and placement of the docking station which is key to being able to offer true 24/7 monitoring capabilities. Confirming the critical power and patrol requirements takes the stress off of you and frees you up to maintain normal business operations and routines. Making sure that a thorough site review has been completed helps set the proper expectations and places the full deployment needs on Knightscope with your input and confirmation the only extra work needed.

Client Experience Guidance

Our client experience team has many years of experience in managing projects, conducting security assessments and planning security technology implementation. We develop a collaborative working relationship with you on your deployment and become an engaged extension of your team fully vested in your success. Your dedicated CX representative will guide you through the deployment process, work diligently to understand your unique needs and execute a plan to address those items. We provide quick feedback on questions/requests, work with your operations and facilities teams on specific engineering needs and recommend security-specific processes to further demonstrate our dedication to your mission and overall experience with our robots.

The CX team is also your voice and advocate within the Knightscope team – sharing specific details and requirements in a timely manner with the rest of our team is an incredibly important part of the process. CX manages your deployment, answers engineering questions about how you want your robot set up, documents configurations and communicates all timelines. We understand our clients are busy and not always available to answer questions or take calls. Having a dedicated representative allows us to stay on top of the deployment, provide real-time updates and maintain two-way, open lines of communication.

Machine Graphics

In today’s global market, it is critical to stand apart from the crowd … and security robots will certainly contribute to that. We thoroughly understand that your brand is the key to your identity, and we go to extreme lengths to promote and protect your brand when placing this amazing piece of technology on your property.

It is inevitable that when a robot shows up at your site, the media (of both social and news varieties) will show up to showcase what you have and how you are using it. Whether you like to maintain anonymity, take a conservative approach with corporate logos, or want to go all out with custom paint and fun graphics, we’re here to help. And for inspiration, you can check out a variety of the active themes here.

Machine graphics are tackled early in the deployment process to allow time for creative development and internal approvals. Knightscope has an extremely talented design team at your disposal who will generate photo realistic renderings of your robots to help visualize how your brand will be portrayed. Custom paint…check, specific colors…no problem, vinyl graphics to make your robot look like a dog…yep, we have done that, too. Let your imagination run wild and we will tackle it!

As you can see, this is not a typical open the box, turn it on and go to work product. We offer a full service and pride ourselves on the intricate details and planning that goes into making this a great experience. We will also support you and your team by educating employees on the robot coming to the site, working with the media on any releases and interviews and ensuring everyone is ready for the big day!

Knightscope support does not end there, and our CX team and engineers talk with our clients daily, weekly and all hours of the night. And best of all – all the support noted above is included with your subscription.

We are here for our clients – you are our priority!

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Top 10 Ways To Tell If Security Robots Are Right for You;

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PHOTO (left to right): Autonomous Security Robots: K3 Indoor, K1 Stationary, K5 Outdoor

You have likely seen them patrolling or stationed around town – at shopping centers, movie theatres, hospitals, corporate campuses, gas stations, parking garages, airports, etc. – but maybe you have continued to tell yourself and those you report to that Autonomous Security Robots would not be a good fit for your site. The timing has just never been right, or you feel your CEO might not think they are a culture fit or perhaps there is a concern that employees might be worried about Robots coming to take their jobs. These are common initial concerns, but if you answer “yes” to any of these following ten (10) questions, it may finally be time to deploy Autonomous Security Robots… or at least explore the possibilities.

#1 Do you have problems with criminal vagrancy or dangerous loiterers at any of your sites?

Homelessness is at an all-time high throughout the US, especially in urban environments. It is disrupting normal business operations and impacting the safety of guests, patrons, residents, employees, tenants and patients alike. Autonomous Security Robots may very well be one of the most effective deterrents to criminal vagrancy or extended loitering available today. There is an adjustable repetitive patrol sound, an illuminating strobe effect, automatic message broadcasting when people are detected, and 360-degree recorded HD video 24/7.

In some instances, law enforcement agencies are not able to take any sort of action to remove a residentially challenged individual from a site. Contract security personnel may even fear for their safety in dealing with vagrants struggling with mental health disorders or they may not be allowed to physically remove an individual due to liability concerns and policies in place from their employer. Autonomous Security Robots provide a unique solution by serving as an authoritative communication medium that removes the need for security personnel and/or law enforcement to have to physically interact with a potentially dangerous individual.

#2 Can you envision any advantages of having thermal imaging and human heat signature scanning and anomaly alerting for your current Security Program?

In our current societal state, being able to read the heat signature coming off of any human is critical information. These machines can potentially “see in the dark” and detect a person in a pitch-black area who has maybe fallen down due to a medical emergency. These Robots have the capability of detecting someone hiding in a poorly lit area setting up camp for the night or using your site as a place for illicit drug use. It is likely beneficial for any security program to gain the ability to see things the human eye simply cannot and detect thermal anomalies a human simply cannot recognize. Temperature thresholds can be set, and designated security team members can receive images of a thermal anomaly, a video clip, location on a map and a time stamp. This anomaly can be sent to a user of the web-based software interface as an email alert, a text, a phone call or in the software itself as an alert notification.

#3 Are you experiencing vandalism or theft and nothing you try seems to provide a true solution?

Whether it is vehicle break-ins, burglaries, petty theft, graffiti or destruction of property, each of these could impact business continuity, the guest-patron-patient experience and/or employees feeling safe at work. If you have just continued to increase human patrol or dedicate more coverage to a particular problem area, but new problem areas arise, or your incidents of this type just continue overall, it may be time to try a potential new solution.

Autonomous Security Robots have been reported to cut crime anywhere from 50% to nearly 100% at some client sites. These machines are highly visible and are more noticeable than a human on foot in any lighting condition. Those that break the law do not want to be caught on eye-level, HD, daylight/lowlight video committing a crime. They usually do not know exactly what these Robots are capable of capturing about them, and it is at least partially that mystery that allows these machines to be such an effective deterrent.

 

#4 Are you looking for the next cutting-edge technology to enhance your Workplace Violence Prevention (WVP) program? 

You may have state of the art security technology in place in all facets of your global security program—security cameras, access control and visitor management systems, social media monitoring, executive travel safety situational awareness, duty of care tools, or even an impressive Global Security Operations Center (GSOC) – but you have yet to see the need to incorporate Autonomous Security Robots.

Imagine someone has a hostile exit interview. They make threats to the HR Manager that has just terminated their employment as well as their direct supervisor responsible for the decision. They are escorted out of the building by a member of the physical security team. You immediately deactivate their badge and add them to your “Be on the Lookout” (BOLO) list and post it to the bulletin board for your on-site team to see. Maybe you go a step further and seek out their social media accounts and begin monitoring their public-facing posts to understand their threat level to your organization. You feel you have done enough. Your team is now “on the lookout” via CCTV and ready to react if this individual ever returns.

Autonomous Security Robots (ASR’s) provide even greater enhancements to the monitoring of this individual’s activity at any of your sites. Through the web-based user interface, you can not only capture a high definition, eye-level facial recognition image of this disgruntled former employee, but their image can also be immediately flagged with a reason that they are a BOLO. Now, you have powerful AI alerting with, in some cases, greater than 90% similarity ratio matching even when this individual is wearing a mask or has made a change to their appearance, like facial hair for instance.

With ASR’s you can capture this individual’s license plate and have your machines looking for that license plate number forever, providing alerts that this threat is back on the property potentially before they even exit their vehicle. You can also capture their cell phone device name from one ASR as they exit the building, and have all of your other ASRs red-alerting in a 492 foot radius that this potentially dangerous individual is attempting to enter any of your sites where you have Autonomous Security Robots deployed.

#5 Do you find that your team is bogged down with Parking Enforcement issues and data gathering?

Is your team walking or driving around jotting down suspicious license plates with a pen and note pad or sporadically capturing license plates of cars with a manual license plate reader? Are you continuously having to remind your employees not to park in your designated guest parking spots? Is your team constantly promoting parking policies to drivers, providing courtesy notices or even ticketing or towing vehicles, but the policy violations never seem to subside? Do you feel this time could be better spent by your security team?

This is all too common for physical security teams responsible for parking enforcement. With Autonomous Security Robots, you are gaining 360-degree Automatic License Plate Recognition (ALPR) without the need for human patrol or human data gathering. The Robots and AI are providing much more advanced data processing, keeping track of how long each vehicle has been parked in a particular area and whether that vehicle has committed a parking violation – 24-hour violations, 4-hour time limit violations for electric vehicle charge stations, or employees in visitor parking. The ASR is providing your team with real time alerts via email, text or web-based software notifications including location coordinates, a time stamp, a zoomable image of the vehicle make and model and even a video clip so you can potentially see who is getting in and out of a vehicle of interest.

#6 Would it be more ideal to have even greater security patrol coverage and/or physical presence with your current resources?

In today’s economy, security teams are being forced to find cost efficiencies or to “do more with less,,” without sacrificing safety and security and possibly even improving their overall security posture. Autonomous Security Robots can patrol hundreds of miles per week, capturing data about threats and deterring with a repetitive patrol sound, automatically broadcasting messages upon people detections and radiating a strobe effect that can be seen from over 1,000 feet away. These machines allow a web-based software user to have eyes with 360 degree eye-level recorded HD video, ears with Live Audio, wheels on the ground and voice with two-way intercom using the human’s voice or pre-recorded broadcast messages using the Robot’s voice… and they can do so remotely under any stay-at-home orders that may be in place.

#7 Would it be helpful for anyone from your team to hear streaming live audio from a Robot during an incident where only the Robot could physically be present? 

It could be a physical altercation, an argument, an act of vandalism, or someone being harassed on their way to their vehicle. Whatever the incident may be, the ability for any ASR user to be a lot more places at once and hear exactly what is going on is highly valuable for any security program. There could be critical audio witnessed by a security professional remotely monitoring a situation through an Autonomous Security Robot. Audio could be interpreted and that particular security team member could provide valuable intervention in real-time either using their own voice by triggering an intercom call or using the Robot’s voice in the form of a pre-recorded message broadcasted over the ASR’s loudspeaker, or even by triggering the local alarm on the Robot (similar to a car alarm). Like with any security program, this capability becomes much more meaningful if an incident ever occurs and the proper protocol takes place.

#8 Would it be better to have greater flagging capabilities and real-time alerting about Persons of Interest (POI’s) who have been banned or had their access denied from any site location? 

Autonomous Security Robots (ASR’s) and their included AI software can provide for even greater flagging capabilities along with real-time alerting for Persons of Interest (POI). Whether these are just suspicious individuals dwelling at a particular site, in vehicle or on foot, or if they are individuals that have clearly crossed the line in the past and have been banned from ever returning, ASR’s can red alert security teams if any of these individuals return to site by detecting their face, their cell phone device name or their license plate number. This can occur from up to a 492-foot radius as the machine patrols or provide a digital perimeter protecting every ingress and egress location with a stationary machine.

#9 Could your security program benefit from having greater eye-level recorded surveillance for positive ID capture and evidence gathering?

Many security programs only have CCTV that is capturing an aerial perspective of any surveilled area. This is great for capturing the scene as a whole of any particular incident, but in many cases, the aerial footage of the shoulders or the top of the head of persons committing a crime or attempting to report a fraudulent slip and fall claim is not sufficient enough to prove someone’s identity, the reason for a slip and fall or for positive ID capture. With high definition, eye-level video recorded 24/7 by an ASR, detecting in both daylight and lowlight conditions, you are filling in those potential blind spots of surveillance coverage and it is constantly on the move for patrolling ASR’s. You are recording powerful video in 360 degrees 24/7 that can potentially be used as prosecuting evidence if ever needed.

#10 Would it be of value for your Security team to have a Robot continuously scanning license plate numbers in 360 degrees, so that persons of interest could be flagged either in real time or searched and flagged at a later date?

Aside from the many advantages Automatic License Plate Recognition (ALPR) brings to any security program for Workplace Violence Prevention (WVP), these Robots are also constantly recording license plates 24/7, potentially capturing hundreds of license plates per day and thousands of license plates per week. Persons of Interest (POI’s) can be immediately detected by security teams and they may have historical video clips of these individuals getting in and out of a particular vehicle and what that vehicle looks like. This becomes a searchable and exportable database that prove to provide critical information for an investigation on a later date.

If you’ve just learned that it may finally be time to deploy Autonomous Security Robots, let’s set up a demo discussion so we can begin addressing any issues you may be facing today!

 

 

More blogs…

Top 25 Questions About Security Robots

Read This BEFORE You Add Security Cameras!

A Memo to My Security Robots

How Security Robots & A.I. Have Become Such a Powerful Deterrent to Property Crime

Why Autonomous Security Robots are Industry Agnostic

COVID-19 Robotic PSA: Being Thoughtful During Difficult Times

1 Million Hours!

What Happened in Huntington Park?

Top 5 Mistakes When Hiring Security Robots

How To Train Your Security Robot

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Read This BEFORE You Add Security Cameras!;

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Video surveillance systems can be a useful tool when designed and installed correctly, and when the user has realistic expectations about what they can and cannot accomplish.  In many cases though, users will install video surveillance cameras as a “quick fix” when they are having a security problem, without considering that cameras may not be the correct solution.  Unfortunately, cameras installed under these circumstances rarely produce the desired results.

Whether you’re thinking about a camera for your front porch, an office complex, or a hospital, keep in mind the true success factor in what makes a surveillance system successful is the delivery of imagery that is actionable.  Simply put, surveillance video is only valuable if it can actually be used to help end users.  There are more volumes of information available about video analytics than we could possibly capture in a short blog, so we’ll leave that aside for now.  But here are three basic myths to consider about surveillance systems that commonly skew a user’s expectations.

MYTH 1 – Security Cameras Deter Crime

A conspicuous, commanding physical presence is required to deter crime.  And despite an almost universal belief otherwise, there is no conclusive evidence that video surveillance systems serve as a deterrent to crime.  Small package size of the camera itself in obscure locations lack a commanding presence.  While a few studies have shown that there may be a decrease in crime when cameras are installed in certain settings, such as parking garages, there are many more studies that have shown that the installation of security cameras alone has no effect whatsoever on crime rates.

While more independent studies are needed, the evidence at this point suggests that security cameras rarely prevent crimes from occurring, and almost certainly don’t deter crime to the degree that is implied by many sellers and installers of video surveillance equipment. There’s likely not a person on the planet that doesn’t know banks use cameras extensively, yet there are thousands of bank robberies every year.

So, the following should be considered when contemplating the deterrent effect of video surveillance cameras:

  • Most people who engage in criminal behavior don’t have the same thought processes that honest people do and don’t consider the long-term consequences of their actions.

  • Many people who commit crimes aren’t thinking rationally at the time they commit them.  They may be drunk, high on drugs, or suffering from some form of mental illness or trauma.

  • Smart criminals are well aware of the limitations of video surveillance systems and may plan their crimes around them, committing crimes just outside of the range of cameras.

  • Security cameras are generally inconspicuous, and people become desensitized to their presence after a short time.  While there may be an awareness of cameras when they are first installed, they soon blend into the environment, making regular occupants of the area almost oblivious to their presence.

MYTH 2 – Recorded Video is the Best Evidence

The goal of most video surveillance systems is to provide recorded evidence when a crime has been committed, allowing the criminal suspect to be quickly identified, captured, and prosecuted.  Ideally, the recorded video would show the criminal in the act: stealing the computer, vandalizing the car, or assaulting the victim.  Images on the recorded video would provide a good picture of the suspect, allowing facial features, clothing, and any distinguishing marks to be clearly recognized.  When the suspect is captured and brought to trial, the video evidence would be compelling enough that a jury would be convinced of the suspect’s guilt “beyond a reasonable doubt.”

While this type of scenario is often played out on television shows and in movies, in the real world it can be difficult.  Most users of commercial video surveillance systems are deeply disappointed when they discover that the system that they have invested in can’t provide recorded video that is useful as evidence.  This dissatisfaction usually comes to light when the user reviews recorded images in an attempt to investigate a crime after the fact.  Complaints frequently heard are: “I can see the person, but can’t identify who it is;” “I can see the person, but I can’t see what they are carrying;” “I can see a car, but can’t tell the make or model or read the license plate;” or “the view of the camera is blocked in exactly the area that I want to see.”

Most problems related to the quality of recorded images can be attributed to the following:

  • Too few cameras with too wide a field-of-view: Cameras can view a wide area, or provide a high-level of detail, but not both.  Many cameras are set to view an excessively large area, which makes it impossible to positively identify people at most points within the scene.

  • Improper viewing angle: To best identify a person, a camera needs to have a relatively straight-on shot of the person’s face.  Many cameras are installed too high, at the wrong angle, or pointed so that they only see the side of the face or the back of the head.

  • Improper lighting conditions: Cameras need to have an adequate amount of light in order to see.  More importantly, the lighting needs to be in front of the subject and uniform throughout the viewing area.  Backlighting, too little light, or the combination of bright areas and dark areas within the viewing area will usually produce an image of poor, unusable quality.

While all of the problems identified above are solvable, the cost of doing so can be prohibitive in many applications. It can also be costly – imaging piping, powering, and monitoring a new camera system for a large facility that was recently purchased during an acquisition – can easily surpass 7 figures to have this done properly.

MYTH 3 – People are highly effective at monitoring security cameras

Each year, an incredible number of camera systems are bought in the United States with the objective of assigning staff or a security person to constantly monitor the scenes from the video cameras in real time.  The objective of such installations is that some sort of response may then be dispatched immediately, and an undesirable incident prevented or stopped, basically using the live person watching the monitor as a detector.  This is quite often an unrealistic approach to security.

Experiments were run at Sandia National Laboratories for the U.S. Department of Energy to test the effectiveness of an individual whose task was to sit in front of a video monitor, demonstrated that after only 20 minutes the attention of most individuals has degenerated to well below acceptable levels.  Monitoring video screens is both boring and mesmerizing.  There are no intellectually engaging stimuli, such as when watching a television program.  This is particularly true if a person is asked to watch multiple monitors, with scenes of pedestrians milling about in various venues, in an attempt to watch for security incidents. Logically, as the number of cameras and monitors increase, the less effective a person will be in this situation.

Nevertheless, don’t abandon your plans to use them! These points are not meant to deter anyone from using video cameras. While they can, and in most cases should be part of the overall security plan, cameras are rarely a security solution in themselves.  Every application is different and requires a unique solution.  It is generally recommended that users identify specific operational requirements – be it for a security threat, public safety issue or other vulnerability – and develop a comprehensive security plan for their facility based on a security risk assessment.

The assessment should address all aspects of security, including security policies and procedures, employee training, architectural security, electronic security systems and, of course, the use cases for Autonomous Security Robots! If you think we can help with eye-level 360 degree live streaming and recorded video coupled with a large physical deterrence amongst a plethora of other capabilities, please feel free to schedule a private demo and remember, robots are immune!

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Hyper-Automating Security Operations;

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The application of automation was first coined by the automotive industry in 1946 to explain the increased use of devices on production lines. It was widely speculated as a process that would reduce the need for human personnel and the replacement of jobs by machines. This was hardly the case as was seen with the communication, service, and transportation industries. There are still tellers in the banks, despite ATM machines; we can quickly check in for a flight at the airport via a kiosk or meet with a ticket agent at the counter; and factories are full of staff monitoring the production processes while machines do the heavy lifting and assembling. Automation is embraced across all industries where predictable physical activities have been identified… and humans continue to hold a collaborative working role in each case.

Fast forward to the present.  We are now seeing the rise of Hyper-Automation – the application of advanced technologies, including artificial intelligence and machine learning, to increasingly automate processes and augment human activities.  At the core of hyper-automation is robotic process automation (RPA).  RPA software revenue increased 63.1% in 2018 as businesses developed a “straight through” process in order to remain competitive.  Businesses want to augment their workforce. They want to stay competitive while also evolving their technology footprint and driving customer service forward in a positive direction all while reducing costs.

Where does physical security fit into the hyper-automation movement?  There are many repetitive tasks routinely performed by security teams on a daily basis.  Being able to automate some, or many, of these processes allows leaders of security programs to capitalize on the consistent flow of accurate, actionable data that is brought into their operations centers.  An augmented work force is now driven to stay ahead of the curve and personnel are offered development opportunities that make them more technologically advanced with a more marketable skillset that can manage the systems, speak to the technology for stakeholder buy-in and drive newer processes to positively impact the organization.

We have seen the evolution of security advance from officers checking a watch-clock, to electronic guard tours and now to virtual tours via the CCTV system.  Our footprints have expanded from boots on the ground, to access management systems to an array of systems in place watching the interior/exterior and verifying those within.  Now we see our advancements moving towards the robotic process automation where robotic sentries are now taking up the slack and live streaming data to our control centers.

Our security technologies will continue to advance as we work to secure our businesses and country. The question is, are you ready to advance with us? Learn more about Autonomous Security Robot technology by scheduling your own private virtual demo here.

 

 

More blogs…

Top 25 Questions About Security Robots

A Memo to My Security Robots

How Security Robots & A.I. Have Become Such a Powerful Deterrent to Property Crime

Why Autonomous Security Robots are Industry Agnostic

COVID-19 Robotic PSA: Being Thoughtful During Difficult Times

1 Million Hours!

What Happened in Huntington Park?

Top 5 Mistakes When Hiring Security Robots

How To Train Your Security Robot

Posted in Blog

Security Robots Are Invading Your Privacy! Or Are They???;

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Every day, we use digital devices and web services to shop, track our fitness, chat with friends, play games, check-in at stores and restaurants, and many other services like, in this case, the use of security robots to protect our physical safety or our property. While the use of technology is becoming increasingly essential in our digital society, people worry about how their privacy is being affected.  We get this question a lot, so let’s jump in with both feet here to examine whether or not these “trusty” security robots are invading one’s privacy.

To ensure we are on the same page, here are a couple of definitions of privacy straight from dictionary.com:

a.     “Privacy” is the state of being apart from other people or concealed from their view; solitude; seclusion

b.     “Privacy” is the state of being free from unwanted or undue intrusion or disturbance in one’s private life or affairs

There is some common ground shared in these two definitions, but it is important to point out that in both scenarios the assumption is that a person’s private life is being unwantedly broadcasted to the public.  This is not what security robots do.

When a security robot is hired to protect a site, there is no personally identifiable information (PII) that is exchanged during the monitoring service.  According to  investopedia.com, personally identifiable information (PII) is information that, when used alone or with other relevant data, can identify an individual.  PII may contain direct identifiers (e.g., passport information) that can identify a person uniquely, or quasi-identifiers (e.g., race) that can be combined with other quasi-identifiers (e.g., date of birth) to successfully recognize an individual.  The only information that security robot end users get is an image of a person, which they typically already have in the form of an access badge for employees and visitors.  Nothing new here.  Additionally, the only information that the manufacturer gets from its customers is the email address of the specific security team members utilizing the technology so they can get access to the user interface.  No PII here either.

Having a sense of privacy when you are outside of your home is a false proposition in todays’ technology world and will be increasingly more so in the very near future.  What many people either do not know or are not aware of is that when you go to the grocery store, the bank, the jewelry store, a hospital or to a casino, for that matter, these locations already have fixed cameras that take your picture or capture you in security footage 24/7/365.  The average person gets their picture taken about 75 times per day in the USA and a whopping 300 times per day in London.  Foiled yet again.

The primary method that bad actors use in order access people’s personal information, which is typically stored in company systems, is via hacking or social engineering techniques.  Even though no PII data is stored on security robot servers, the Company hires white hat hackers under contract who try to break into the systems on a daily basis.  These are the same hackers that companies like Twitter, Starbucks and General Motors use.  The researchers (they prefer to be called that instead of hackers) find a vulnerability and the Company pays them a bounty and fixes it.  Using ethical hackers has many advantages – like a 115% increase in ROI, a 66% reduction of internal efforts and a 50% decrease in test reductions for those companies that use them.  There are many ethical hacking companies, but an example of one such company is HackerOne.  This is yet another way in which security robot systems secure data so that one can be sure that PII is safe.  Scratching head… it’s not looking good here.

Surely having constant video of a person captured without their knowledge or consent is a violation, though, right?  Sorry, but no.  The United States Supreme Court adopted the two-prong test established in the landmark case of Katz v. United States in 1967 to protect your Fourth Amendment rights.  Essentially, one does not have an expectation of privacy in a public place and, therefore, video does not contravene an individual’s actual, subjective expectation of privacy.

Surveillance systems are intended to monitor for illicit activities and potential threats.  Only videos of incidents and anomalies are reported for review, while the remaining video is stored for forensic investigations.  How long that video is stored depends on accepted industry best practices, end user policies and any special considerations resulting from a custom planned robotic deployment.  Stored video may be saved following a strict chain of evidence requirement so that it might be used by the police or courts to investigate and prosecute a crime.  Otherwise, the video gets deleted at the prescribed intervals and removed from the system.

So, no intrusion or broadcasting of one’s private affairs; no exposure to one’s PII; no form of surveillance to which one has not already been exposed; no cyber access to PII; and no expectation of privacy in public that may violate one’s Fourth Amendment rights.  It seems as though the privacy issue has already been put to rest before the security robots even showed up.

At Knightscope, privacy is a top priority at all times and we strive to continue the protections afforded us all by the previously laid groundwork.  As always, if you have any questions about this topic or any other topic related to our products, feel free to click on the chat icon at the bottom right of this page to talk directly with our client development team about your needs.

 

 

 

More blogs…

Top 25 Questions About Security Robots

A Memo to My Security Robots

How Security Robots & A.I. Have Become Such a Powerful Deterrent to Property Crime

Why Autonomous Security Robots are Industry Agnostic

COVID-19 Robotic PSA: Being Thoughtful During Difficult Times

1 Million Hours!

What Happened in Huntington Park?

Top 5 Mistakes When Hiring Security Robots

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COVID-19 is Driving Budget Cuts – BUT DON’T PANIC;

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PHOTO: this is a simulation of non-compliance with social distancing guidelines for meetings but the robots are immune

 

Budgets from top to bottom are seemingly being obliterated in 2020. Sales and revenue are down – even non-existent for many businesses – due to the impact of COVID-19. In response to new risks and threats arising from the pandemic, some have had to double or triple their security officer spend. These unexpected issues are creating a dire need for businesses to quickly identify ways to reduce costs for the remainder of the year and, more than likely, into 2021 once the situation hopefully normalizes.

If it hasn’t happened already, imagine being called to attend an internal emergency meeting to discuss immediate budget cuts and revisions, and then marching across the hall into another to strategize on how your organization will be better prepared the next time this occurs. We’re already seeing security budgets being reduced significantly or even eliminated entirely in some cases. We’ve all heard it before, do more with less. But don’t despair, and don’t go post your resume online just yet.  Our Autonomous Security Robots (ASRs) can support your security team to do more… with a reduced security budget!

Let’s take a look at them strictly from a budgetary perspective.  Hypothetically, if a company has a 2020 security guard budget of $800k but must now comply with a mandated 25% reduction across all operating costs, this will leave a security team scrambling to maximize their reduced budget of $600k. But here’s an example of how we can help. First, incorporating just one autonomous security robot in lieu of 24/7 security officers will result in an additional $89k for other security positions (officers, dispatchers, supervisors, managers, etc.) per these average costs:

  • 24/7 Security Officers: $174k per year*

  • 24/7 Autonomous Security Robot: $85k per year

  • Savings: $89k per year

If you increase the robots to two in lieu of 24/7 security officers, this will result in $178k for other security positions (officers, dispatchers, supervisors, managers, etc.) per the same average costs:

  • 24/7 Security Officers: $348k per year*

  • 24/7 Autonomous Security Robots: $170k per year

  • Savings: $178k per year

 * based on an industry average $14 hourly pay rate and $20 hourly contract security bill rate.

You’ve likely used other security technologies before to reduce security officer costs and maximize your budget, such as access control and closed-circuit television, as this has been the industry trend for years now.  It is time to add Autonomous Security Robots.  The delta in annual cost is too significant not to.

But now, what about that second internal meeting about being better prepared the next time your company faces a similar crisis? What can ASRs do to help your company?

ASRs Deter Crime

If you regularly follow our blogs, you’ve seen some of our crime stats before and they are definitely worthy of a cut and paste:

  • A major hospital network was experiencing, on average, 2 crimes per week in the parking lot of one of their main hospitals.  Once our K5 Autonomous Security Robot was deployed, the crimes were eliminated, recording zero crimes in the following 12 months.

  • After using a K5 for the first 7 months in a public park, the Huntington Park Police Department recorded a 46% reduction in crimes and 68% reduction in citations.

  • A commercial property in downtown San Francisco was averaging 20 crimes per month in their parking structure including trespassing, vandalisms, and thefts. After deploying a K5, they recorded just 1 crime in 12 months.

Click here for a quick video summarizing what the criminal element has experienced thus far at one location.

Now, turn up the speakers on the device you’re on and click this link to see and hear what a criminal would actually face at your site with an ASR.

Are you back? What you just saw and heard – the patrol sound, the flashing LED light, the five plus feet tall moving robot – contribute significantly to deterring crime at our clients’ sites.

Now, what about your contingency planning for the next crisis and what your team can do better next time?

Here are some of the benefits ASRs will bring to your sites:

Enhance remote video monitoring effectiveness.  Whether you’re monitoring a property remotely yourself through your CCTV system, you have a command center or security operations center monitoring it, or you are using a remote video monitoring center service to do this for you, ASRs provide a unique capability to investigate an incident and reach areas not covered by cameras, delivering real-time video and two-way audio.

KSOC.png

Support Facility Management. If you have a facility that is shut down or has reduced operations and personnel, the ASRs can perform a facility tour at ground level, with 360-degree live video, to inspect landscaping, fencing, lighting, safety conditions, and much more. Take a look at these still video images taken by the ASR at our headquarters.  Imagine being able to see every inch of your facility remotely, as if you were onsite and taking a walk around, but with a set of eyes on each side of your head! Here is a short video clip of that feature.

ASRs are immune to COVID-19.  They will be on duty, deterring, detecting, and alerting 24/7.

Contingent patrol routes can be preprogrammed to expand coverage in the event your security team is short-staffed due to illness or other staffing challenges.

Keep your security team safe.  The intercom feature built into the ASR allows your security team to minimize interaction with the public, reducing their risk of exposure to COVID-19. The ASR could literally be your gatekeeper or receptionist.

Promote COVID-19 prevention. Here’s a sample of messages ASRs can broadcast: “Please maintain social distances while at this site.” “All employees are required to wear face masks.” “Please use hand sanitizer when entering and exciting this facility.” “If you feel ill, please push my intercom button before entering this facility.” Turn up the volume again and you can check the video out here.

Are you now ready to head back into those internal meetings with recommendations for your security budget and contingency planning? Feel free to cut and paste any of this information into your PowerPoint presentation. And of course, please reach out to us if you’d like help building a custom cost analysis, proposal, and presentation for your sites… or better yet, schedule a virtual demo today and we’ll present to your entire team alongside you.

More blogs…

Top 25 Questions About Security Robots

A Memo to My Security Robots

How Security Robots & A.I. Have Become Such a Powerful Deterrent to Property Crime

Why Autonomous Security Robots are Industry Agnostic

COVID-19 Robotic PSA: Being Thoughtful During Difficult Times

1 Million Hours!

What Happened in Huntington Park?

Top 5 Mistakes When Hiring Security Robots

How To Train Your Security Robot

Posted in Blog

Remote Monitoring Will Become The Norm;

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PHOTO: Remote monitoring utilizing the Knightscope Security Operations Center (KSOC) user interface and an Autonomous Security Robot (ASR)PHOTO: Remote monitoring utilizing the Knightscope Security Operations Center (KSOC) user interface and an Autonomous Security Robot (ASR)
Pandemics and nationwide systemic tensions only emphasize an underlying fundamental problem in our country.  We cannot have only 500,000 law enforcement and security professional at any one given point in time trying to secure 300 million people across 50 states.  The brave women and men in uniform require new advanced tools for them to be able to do their jobs effectively – and now, with the looming threat of coronavirus negatively impacting our nation’s law enforcement professionals – even  more so than ever before. The obvious point here is that security robots are immune to COVID-19 and provide security and law enforcement an ability to help manage during a time of difficult circumstances.

Remote monitoring will become a permanent fixture in the public safety toolbox to help quell the spread of the equally deadly crime virus.

Similar to COVID-19, crime is a virus set to spiral out of control.  It spreads exponentially in times of weakness.  It preys upon the unsuspecting and unprepared.  And when defenses are down (like the potential loss of first responders and medical professionals who contract COVID-19), it can kill at alarming rates.  It is time for society, the media, and government officials to understand that robots and artificial intelligence, while working alongside humans, can have a profoundly positive impact on society – especially in a crisis.  We have already proven this with official statistics from law enforcement.  As we often say, the machines need to do the monotonous, dangerous and computationally heavy work and the humans should lead the strategic decision making and enforcement work.

The cold of winter tends to assuage ill will and nefarious activities.  Criminals take the path of least resistance and seek out easy opportunities.  With the arrival of spring and summer at hand, people once again begin to flow into the streets of America – and as temperatures rise, tempers get shorter and bad behavior picks up again.  Crime and violence can come in many ways, but it comes, like clockwork, when the weather warms up.  And the unprecedented unemployment levels, travel bans, social distancing and self-initiated quarantines imposed as a result of COVID-19 will only serve to exacerbate the acceleration of it.

Containing infectious diseases relies heavily on data, and the same holds true for public safety. First, we map out exactly where the most transmissions of the ‘disease’ (crime) are occurring.  We then focus on containing the spread in these areas using actionable intelligence gained through analyzing the data.  And ultimately, we seek to deter and contain the ‘disease’ by getting people to change their behavior resulting in a rapid positive outcome.

Security leaders understand that they must look beyond traditional security concerns during times of global vulnerability in order to anticipate new risks to their organizations and fight to protect against them. The primary focus of security leadership should be protecting an organization’s human capital as its most valuable asset, then focus on loss prevention through physical and cyber security measures.

With many companies adopting a work-from-home policy in response to COVID-19 concerns, best practices require implementation of adequate physical security, access controls and remote monitoring for assets in preparation for extended office closures.  Employers also should warn their employees that malicious actors will use this opportunity to increase targeted attacks in both the physical and cyber worlds.  This might include increased predatory behavior focused on looting, vandalism and squatting; personal assaults on unsuspecting individuals in places where there is usually safety in numbers; and phishing emails that purport to include medical updates or are “important notices” for those working remotely.

Remember, your security robot friends are immune from disease and danger – and are working today 24/7/365 helping secure the places you work, study and visit – even during a pandemic.  If we can help your location, feel free to contact us and stay safe out there!

 

 

More blogs…

Top 25 Questions About Security Robots

A Memo to My Security Robots

How Security Robots & A.I. Have Become Such a Powerful Deterrent to Property Crime

Why Autonomous Security Robots are Industry Agnostic

COVID-19 Robotic PSA: Being Thoughtful During Difficult Times

1 Million Hours!

What Happened in Huntington Park?

Top 5 Mistakes When Hiring Security Robots

How To Train Your Security Robot

Posted in Blog