Are Security Robots The Next Big Trend In The World Of Mechatronics?

According to the report, Robotic Technology to Continue Rapid Growth’, this industry will grow at a rate of 20% over the next 5 years and will bring benefits for the sector such as cost reduction and greater specialization of personnel in the security management area.

Robots have been associated with development and progress in a future world, so perhaps they have been considered, at least in cinema, literature, and television, as science fiction characters.

Many robots have been devised and developed – at least in the West – from the Greeks, through automatons of the Middle Ages, by the Renaissance designs of Leonardo Da Vinci, by the efforts of the Jewish Kabbalists to teach a language to an automaton created by themselves in which, despite continuing to be considered inhabitants of future times or impossible creatures, begin to be present in our daily lives and develop many jobs considered exclusive to human beings.

And every time one of these automatons or robots – a word of Czech origin that means “forced labor” – appears in our daily lives, it usually does so to take care of certain tasks that could support a human or even replace it.

This is the case with security robots. Some of its capabilities are to help human guards in the physical deterrence of criminals or intruders recording a 360-degree HD video with detection of people in restricted hours, automatic license plate recognition, detection of thermal anomalies, live audio transmission, bi-directional intercom, voice interaction between people and machines adapted to your environment, pre-recorded messages and remote monitoring.

Can a robot guard replace a human being?

Another commonplace about robots is that in the not too distant future they will displace humans in many tasks, as they could execute them better than us.

But the manufacturers and experts really involved in the development of this automation understand and define them rather as an extension of the capabilities of human beings, an enabler, who is about 5 to 10 years will be a common tool in security patrols forming teams that will allow the security industry to move beyond traditional weapons, access controls, monitoring screens, and guard patrols.

Well, although robots cannot think and process information in the same way than human beings do, they do have a developed internal sensory device (consisting of lasers, GPS, sonars, encoders and motion, agitation and inclination sensors) through which they can approach the world and ‘touch it’ perceiving it intrinsically as well as human beings do. 

At least in the area of security, robots have shown a surprising evolution in recent years.

They are able to detect open doors, intruders, water leaks, investigate suspicious events or sounds, identify environmental and safety risks, provide support in the work of deterring offenders or criminals without endangering the lives of human beings, interact with visitors and employees, and responding quickly to emergency situations.

Although they are incapable of having a contextual perception of situations and interacting in a ‘natural’ way, they certainly support certain tasks much more efficiently than people: they are not susceptible to the tedium that human guardians may experience or to the loss of attention due to tiredness, hunger or sleep and most importantly, the loss or damage of a robot in compliance with its service will never be as unfortunate as that of a human being. For their part, humans are much better than robots in interaction, strategy, and planning.

From a realistic perspective and connected with current developments in the industry, robots, at least in the area of security, are not at to replace human beings but to provide them with support in certain tasks, complement the work of the most qualified security personnel and give way to humans for safety management, above the basic surveillance tasks.

The arrival of security guard robots also promises a considerable reduction in operational costs, as they would cost half of what human guards cost. This means a saving of 1.7 to 2.2 billion every year in the United States alone, assuming that robots took over just 10% of the multiple security tasks.

In addition, manufacturing companies have chosen to rent them instead of selling them to avoid the end-user incurring the high cost of paying for only one of them or for damages and repairs.