A Silicon Valley-based startup has developed a five-foot tall, burly-bodied robotic security guard, that resembles a Dalek, and has already deployed a fleet of five of them to patrol Microsoft’s Silicon Valley campus.
Knightscope masterminded the creation of the K5, according to Gizmodo, which in jest says the startup’s moniker is synonymous with “the name of the world-ruling megacorp in some dystopian sci-fi movie.”
Although the K5 is not armed, it is outfitted with four cameras, microphones, weather sensors, GPS, a laser rangefinder to help with navigation, and a piercing SOS alarm system that alerts its control center if anyone or anything attempts to tamper with its authority.
Knightscope lists the bots as “K5 Autonomous Data Machines” that “predict and prevent crime in your community,” on their website. And a recent review on MIT’s Technology Review describes the human-size robots as imbuing “the grace of Fred Astaire” with their exhibition of smooth movement across the concrete while being simultaneously “cute and intimidating.”
Technology Review reports that the K5s are designed for patrolling, surveillance and security for the areas they are designated to watch over. Knightscope reportedly told the Review that their presence is meant for monitoring corporate and college campuses, shopping malls, and schools.
The likelihood that these robotic guards will replace their flesh-and-bones security human counterparts is unlikely — for the time being.