Home improvement products retailer Lowe’s has started using security robots manufactured by Knightscope in four stores in Philadelphia.
The robots, K5’s – first launched in 2015 – are supposed to help the retailer collect evidence in case of criminal prosecutions, and act like “security guards.”
Even though the K5 can detect persons, has 16 microphones, and Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR), as well as sonar sensors, along with four 360-degree high definition wide angle cameras, it does not have facial recognition software baked into it.
(But Knightscope offers that feature – “seeing” a person, and knowing who it is – in the K1 Tower and KA Hemisphere models.)
K5’s other features include a security button on the back that people can press to summon help, what seems like limited communication letting users send customized messages through it and, as it patrols parking lots, the robot can emit a sound.
By using the robots to identify license plates and mobile devices, Lowe’s is able to cross-reference that data with an existing database of previous “offenders.”
According to Knightscope execs, the robot looks for a pretty broad range of “known threats” – from persons with existing criminal trespass records and domestic abusers, to sacked employees….