Droid Roams Offices, Reports Suspicious Behavior

Mike Paczesny | The Rundown LiveSecurity robot Bob's ID card at the G4S Technology offices in Tewkesbury

Meet Bob, the first robotic security guard in the UK, he is the latest in robotic security, and is being developed by G4S & The University of Birmingham to get robots integrated around the world.

The droid stores the information on internal hard-drives and reports it to humans, noting any unusual activity.

It patrols from room to room, scanning and filming in 3D.

If something has changed since it’s last visit,  the input is analyzed and sent to a real security guard.

Using cameras and scanners the bot is able to create a map of the surrounding area, including the location of objects in the room, people moving, and learning how the environment changes.

The autonomous android even speaks including, asking for help when it gets stuck, and asking for a battery charge.

DailyMail reports:

Bob is not about replacing our security officers; the security officers are at the point of use,’ said G4S spokesman Stewart Angell.

They are able to make incisive, very, very quick decisions about changes in the environment.

‘Bob is a complimentary activity that can do guard tours over a period of time overnight or during the day, but also pick up on some of the low level activities that the guard doesn’t necessary need to be involved in.’

Dr Nick Hawes, from the School of Computer Science at the University of Birmingham, said: ‘Current robots aren’t very good with their hands, or able to manipulate objects, however Bob is good at driving around and monitoring objects, so is perfect for a job in security as a night or day watchman where he can monitor what is going on in his immediate surroundings.

‘We want to see Bob survive on his own for up to 15 days, doing jobs that are useful for security, for example, checking whether fire doors are obstructed, whether there is paper on desks.’

The project is being led by the School of Computer Science at the University of Birmingham.

A similar robot called Werner is currently being tested in a care home in Vienna, Austria, as part of the same project.

Werner will carry out similar security duties to Bob, but he is also able to play simple games with residents in the home.

Bob the autonomous android can even speak to his colleagues, ask for help when he gets stuck, and plug himself in to charge when his battery runs low. The 6ft tall blue machine is part of a £7.2 million ($12.2 million) robot pilot project by the University of Birmingham to get robots in offices around the world

Bob (pictured) the autonomous android can speak to his colleagues, ask for help when he gets stuck, and plug himself in to charge when his battery runs low. The blue machine is part of a £7.2 million ($12.2 million) robot pilot project by the University of Birmingham to get robots in offices around the world

Bob knows the floor plan of the office in Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire, and rolls from room to room, scanning and filming in 3D, using technology similar to games consoles. If he spots something has changed since his last visit, he analyses it and sends the information to a real security guard
It is hoped the pilot project will help Bob learn more about coping with other people - and machines - in the workplace

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