Robots are no longer things of science fiction. Since the first real, functioning robot started working alongside humans in 1961, robots have helped to increase productivity and drive innovation in virtually every industry. Today, they are used as solutions for a wide range of use cases—traffic robots help manage congested areas in big cities, drones fly overhead at stadiums capturing game time action, and delivery robots bring food and daily necessities to people—and their real-world applications continue to grow.
In the world of physical security, where reducing costs and future-proofing systems are key, security and facilities leaders are constantly seeking tools that drive cost-efficiency and are effective solutions for safeguarding spaces both immediately and long-term. Robots have emerged as a viable technology to address those key priorities and more; as a result, organizations have begun to integrate robots to enhance their security operations. In fact, the global security robot market is expected to reach $2.36 billion by 2022.
As security robots gain widespread adoption, the landscape of security is undeniably shifting. Here are the top five ways that robots are influencing change in the industry:
1. Redefining Human-Robot Partnership: Robots are increasingly joining the workplace to work alongside humans, and this is creating a new normal. For security, this dynamic has huge implications. We know that machines and people have unique strengths and while security robots have powerful monitoring and anomaly detection capabilities on their own, their efficacy is driven by having humans in the loop. For example, once a robot has detected something out of the ordinary, a human is needed to make judgment calls, thus reducing false positives and verifying security incidents that need to be attended to quickly. As security robot integration grows, this partnership will only continue to evolve.
2. Increasing Operational Efficiency: Robots are force multipliers, enhancing the capabilities of existing security operations and enabling security personnel to focus their attention on where they are needed most. Rather than sending security guards to investigate every potential security issue, autonomous security robots can do the footwork of patrolling and scanning for anything out of the ordinary. With these tasks removed from security personnel’s plates, they are freed to stay vigilant on safeguarding spaces and, when incidents requiring action are verified, they can act quickly.
3. Expanding Detection Capabilities: There are many different environmental changes in the workplace that can signal potential security incidents including water spills, gas leaks, open doors and more. Typically, sensors that are installed in the workplace account for only one specific environmental factor among other limitations, which is why advanced sensing capabilities matter. Security robots like the ones we make at Cobalt are equipped with over 60 sensors that enable them to scan for a wide range of anomalies and can quickly identify anything out of the ordinary. This greatly increases the ability of security operations to detect and manage events that may impact safety, security, and productivity.
4. Reducing Risk to People: When dangerous situations arise, time is of the essence. With powerful cameras, the ability to move and more, security robots are now enabling people to assess and manage situations remotely while keeping a safe distance. If a building is on fire and needs to be evacuated, a robot can investigate spaces to be sure no one is trapped or if an intruder is onsite, a robot can act as a set of eyes and ears, reducing the chances of human injury or worse.
5. Driving Cost Savings: Domestic and international security threats are driving growth in the physical security market as organizations continue investing in necessary security solutions. Security robots enhance the capabilities of security operations, and they also reduce costs by being effective force multipliers, creating operational efficiencies and more. The potential savings of using robots will only increase as technology continues to improve and become even more cost-effective.
It’s clear that robots are changing the security landscape. By utilizing both robots and humans in the loop, the industry is seeing a switch from people versus machine to people plus machine. Employing a security system that adopts robot security, paired with human intervention, allows for a specialized tool in a security leader’s toolbox. With humans and machine partnering together, the industry is just beginning to see how such a relationship can be both impactful and practical.