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Robots have been making headlines lately, and although the emergence of robotics and their application to help solve tasks is not new, the ongoing discussion about how best to use them continues. Seattle-Tacoma International Airport announced in early July that it’s piloting a programme that utilises robots to provide tips for getting through security faster. Other robots being used in airports perform tasks such as providing passengers with directions to gates, escorting passengers to their destination or cleaning the floors.
A study published recently on sourcesecurity.com, reported that the majority of consumers are willing to receive healthcare from technologies, like AI and robotics, that can answer health questions, perform tests, make a diagnosis and recommend treatment.
These examples are just the tip of the iceberg for the uses associated with robotics in a number of sectors.
Within security, the same kinds of technology are already being used to take the protection of assets even further. The security coverage that a robot offers in the case of a shopping mall can be easily overshadowed by the fact that the machines seem to serve to entertain the population. Instead, security robots can best be utilised for more high-level roles, such as in critical infrastructure sites, corporate campuses and educational facilities, where wide, expansive spaces require continuous protection. In these places, security can be difficult to achieve, as cost, location and lack of resources make the logistics of deployment difficult.
In the future, robotics could also be used in healthcare and oil drilling.
But therein lies the chief argument for increasing the value of security through robotics: the extension of the security operations centre and the manned guarding contingent on which these facilities heavily rely. Armed with advanced video analytics capabilities and panoramic coverage of a scene, robots that are concentrated in these areas offer security leaders the ability to place “feet on the ground” in a cost-effective, value-based way, saving significant cost on per-hour contracting of human guards. This allows the more mundane jobs typically associated with remote locations to be reassigned to robots, thereby saving human abilities to be used in more important tasks.
As mentioned above, the airport’s robot pilot programme is demonstrating this very idea: the ability of a robot to take a mundane, repetitive task, such as repeating instructions over and over, in an effort to reassign human agents to more important tasks, such as actual security protection and screening. This is the true value of robotics in security. The reduction of risk and the transferable nature of mundane tasks are pushing us toward the utilisation of robots for security.