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Security Robots at the Federal Protective Service;

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The Federal Protective Service (FPS) is the primary law enforcement agency charged with protecting over 9,000 federal buildings and providing a safe environment for 1.4 million employees working in those buildings and the millions of people who visit them each day.  FPS’s 15,000 contract security guards, called Protective Security Officers (PSOs) have probably never faced more threats across the country than they are facing today.  PSOs use a multitude of tools, technology and countermeasures, including magnetometers, x-ray machines, video surveillance, and other technologies, to ensure no one enters a building with prohibited items, such as guns, knives, or other weapons.  Ensuring security within and around federal buildings and the government employees and visitors in them is a massive challenge that absolutely must modernize and take advantage of proven technology solutions to keep up with the increased security threats, workforce challenges and ongoing budget constraints.

As part of their mission, FPS also conducts Facility Security Assessments (FSAs) that evaluate security and safety at federal facilities.  FSA reports recommend the technical countermeasures needed to improve security at federal buildings and bring them into compliance with federal security standards.  However, the agencies housed in these federal buildings weigh their competing priorities with limited budgets and often reject the suggested technical countermeasures recommended in the FSAs.

Security robots are the perfect cost-effective tool for FPS and federal agencies to use to augment the PSOs and the countermeasures they rely on to improve security at federal facilities and address security vulnerabilities that are not being addressed.  Security robots are in use today in the US and are effective deterrents and are providing more safety and security awareness in airports, hospitals, parking lots, neighborhoods, campuses and beyond.

Security robots can…

  • Provide FPS and federal agencies a cost-effective countermeasure to augment contract PSO staff to provide more expanded and less expensive security coverage.
  • Provide high quality 365/24/7 360-degree 4K video as they patrol the interior and exterior of federal buildings and parking structures.
  • Provide pre-recorded instructions to the people waiting in line to enter federal buildings as to what items are not permitted in the buildings.
  • Recognize and alert FPS of individuals banned from the federal buildings based on prior documented illegal or threatening
  • Identify and alert FPS to suspicious vehicles based on license plate recognition.
  • Gather the video feeds from Security Robots installed at federal facilities and display them in real time in agency Command Centers and on the desktops of federal security officials.

What needs to be done?
Congress and the current Administration need to hold themselves accountable for providing adequate funding for cost effective technologies to ensure the safety and security of the millions of people that enter federal facilities every day across the U.S.  Members of Congress must demand that the federal employees and the public that visit these federal buildings in their states and districts are fully protected and know they are going to be safe when they enter those buildings.  After the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, and again in response to the 9/11 attack, the federal government focused on the security postures of federal buildings… and rightly so.  After almost 30 years on, however, the security of these federal buildings is not where they should or could be.  Security Robots could be a critical tool to help get them there.

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Security Robots in the Federal Government – Addressing Privacy Issues;

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One of the most important steps we need to take before robots are deployed in Federal workplaces is to address privacy concerns. The use of robots can be quite polarizing. For some, they bring tremendous excitement and hope for an improved future. For others, they conjure up an uncertain fear. These fears, we would argue, are mostly unfounded and almost entirely due to how robots have been portrayed in science fiction novels or Hollywood films. The fact is, when many of these novels and films were made, robots did not exist. Now that robots are becoming an increased presence in our lives, we can evaluate their use in the real world, what they can do and what they are not capable of doing. Today we can see, touch, and even talk to robots, so we need to have a healthy dialogue with the public about real robots being used to solve real problems… not science fiction robots. The five core privacy principles: Notice/Awareness, Choice/Consent, Access/Participation, Integrity/Security, and Enforcement/Redress will be addressed before robots are deployed in federal workplaces. Engaging the public in an open and transparent manner will allow us to accurately depict the lifesaving, crime-fighting and security-enhancing capabilities of today’s Security Robots.

As we stated in our first blog, the federal government is an excellent environment to explore new technologies that will become a part of our daily lives. The federal government is replete with processes, procedures, and regulations that help shape new technologies. That said, with respect to the specific use of robots in the federal workplace to augment existing security personnel, it is a point of fact that today’s Security Robots use many of the technologies already in use in public spaces. Closed circuit television, or CCTV, is a technology that has been around for decades. CCTV is already used in federal buildings and Privacy Impact Assessments (PIA) have already been conducted and published for their use. These cameras are used to both deter and detect crime, and video footage has been used in courts of law to convict many criminals. The video capabilities of robots are both fixed and mobile. License plate readers are already used by several law enforcement components of the federal government and so, too, is facial recognition. Again, capabilities that today’s security robots can do. So, the privacy experts in the Departments of

Homeland Security, Justice and others will need to determine whether the video provided by robots is covered by existing PIAs or if those PIAs needed to be amended. Other features of the Security Robots such as listening, two-way communication, and signal detection, to name a few, may need new PIAs. Let us be guided then by the existing structures in the federal government to ensure robots meet the standards for privacy.

As important as the formal structures are, it is equally important to engage the public and have a dialogue about Security Robots. Many of us grew up being introduced to robots through novels written by Isaac Asimov and myriad other authors. Or through movies such as “Terminator,” “West World,” and “I Robot” to name three movies with a more negative depiction of robots. But there was also the robot on “Lost in Space,” and of course R2D2 and C-3PO in “Star Wars,” much more benign, friendly and lovable robots. Whichever way many learned of robots, they are generally feared to be part of some dystopian world or perhaps are going to take our jobs away from us. And in some cases, like the automotive assembly line, let’s be honest, they have. And at the same time, other higher paying jobs were created to program, service and maintain them. But at the end of the day, all robots are made by humans and should serve humans. Robots should enhance the human experience and we believe the Security Robots of today do just that. Robots can relieve us of the mundane, repetitive, and yes, boring tasks. And many robots can do these tasks without a break, without workers comp, without getting sick, and without wearing masks. Robots increase production and reduce risk because of these traits. They can record any incident and capture that incident for review by law enforcement and in a court of law to better guarantee conviction of criminals. So, Security Robots need to be viewed by the public as an enhancement and a way to augment what we already do. There are too many criminals and criminal acts to be prevented by the number of law enforcement personnel the United States employs today. Law enforcement and security professionals are in critical need of the assistance that robots can provide. The privacy concerns are legitimate and must and will be addressed. But we cannot ignore the technological progress that has brought us real and very useful robots that, unlike movies, can improve our lives. Security Robots can protect all of us and save lives.

What needs to be done?

Just like the federal government did with biometrics and drone technology, a national dialogue with Security Robot companies, Congress, federal agencies, privacy advocates and cybersecurity professionals needs to occur to ensure the concerns of these bodies are being addressed as this new technology is deployed across the federal community. And for those who would like to learn more or begin such a dialog directly, RIDGE-LANE Limited Partners invites you to join our free webinar on April 21, 2022, at 11:00am, ET, focused on federal use cases and privacy issues related to deploying Security Robots into the federal government. Industry leaders in Security Robot development, former federal senior executives, and local government leaders, will discuss the technology already in use across the United States, state and federal use cases, and potential privacy issues and how they are being addressed.

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Introducing Security Robots into the Federal Government;

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The federal government is an excellent environment in which to introduce new technology.  In some cases, the government creates technology.  Think of the key contributions made by the Defense Advanced Research and Projects Agency in the creation of the internet, originally intended to help scientists collaborate across large distances.  Or the original  Global Positioning System technology developed by the military.  Both are now ubiquitous across the globe used by billions of people.

Sometimes new technologies are introduced to the government by the private sector.  After the events of 9/11, the government introduced the electronic tracking of biometrics into the immigration entry process, and the US is now well on its way to using biometrics to record the exit of foreign nationals.  Biometrics are now used by many countries for passport control and the United Nations recently approved Security Resolution 2396 which states, in part, that Member States shall implement systems to collect biometrics to strengthen their border controls.  The government has also incorporated drones into mission sets across federal agencies.

With the advent of robotics and artificial intelligence, now is the optimum time to introduce security robots to the federal government.  The federal government needs to take on the role of growing, shaping, and integrating robotics to enhance the security of the United States.  By assuming this leadership role, the U.S. could well influence the rest of the world in the use of security robotics in the workplace.

The federal government has the requisite legal infrastructure (Congressional authority), and regulatory and policy-making processes  in place to ensure these new technologies are implemented with proper oversight and accountability.  The federal government also has some of the strongest privacy advocates, and these professionals will be vital to ensuring the proper implementation of security robots in public spaces.  In some cases, Congress may even need to provide additional authorities and the Executive Branch may need to publish new policies.

When you speak with those who design and build security robots, they will tell you that the robot’s function is optimal for performing the routine, sometimes “boring” job of security guards, like walking through a sometimes-empty building or through a parking lot at night.  They explain that robots can free up the security guards to focus on interactions with people.  And let’s be clear, boring jobs can also be very dangerous.  Expecting the same thing over and over again leads to complacency and diminishing powers of observation.  When a human security guard is out on patrol in the dark of night – usually patrolling alone – the guard can be targeted by criminals that recognize the care-free body language, attacking in locations where assistance may not be readily available. It is in these situations that many security guards suffer injury or even death.  Robots, on the other hand, can observe, record every action and alert, and provide situational awareness to first responders. If they get banged up along the way, well, robots can be replaced.

In this series of Blogs, we will discuss privacy issues surrounding security robots and dispel a few myths often associated with such technologies, including Personally Identifiable Information (PII) concerns, what data is and is not collected or stored, and how the data collected is used.  We will look at federal agencies whose missions make them ideal candidates for integrating security robots into their security strategy and have the most obvious use cases and need for security robots, such as those charged with protecting the security and safety of federal buildings, the employees who work there, and the general public who visit those buildings.  We will then discuss agencies whose missions include national defense, border control, disaster recovery, securing courts and prisons, Veteran’s hospitals, and even regulatory agencies that oversee our critical infrastructure like chemical plants, dams, and nuclear power plants.  Finally, we will examine how security robots should be integrated, the potential challenges of doing so, and their efficacy once established as part of a robust security program.

The technology in today’s security robots is not entirely new and is currently being used by the private sector to fight crime and enhance security and safety in airports, corporate buildings and campuses, hospitals, parks, neighborhoods, shopping malls, parking structures and casinos – to name a few since 2015.  The private sector is turning to this technology for a number of reasons as highlighted below. It’s now time for the federal government to start leveraging it too.

Security Robots can.…

  • Provide federal agencies a cost-effective tool to augment contract security staff to provide more expanded and less expensive security coverage.
  • Provide high quality, 360-degree 4K video 24/7/365 as they patrol the interior and exterior of federal buildings and parking structures.
  • Provide pre-recorded instructions to the people waiting in line to enter federal buildings as to what items are not permitted in the buildings.
  • Recognize and alert security officials about individuals banned from federal buildings based on prior documented illegal activity.
  • Identify and alert security officials to suspicious vehicles based on license plate recognition.
  • Gather video feeds from security robots installed at federal facilities and display them in real time in agency Command Centers and on the desktops of federal security officials.

What needs to be done?

Just like the federal government did with biometrics and drone technology, a national dialogue with security robotics companies, Congress, federal agencies, privacy advocates and cybersecurity professionals needs to occur, to ensure the concerns of these bodies are being addressed as this new technology is deployed across the federal community.  This Security Robot Blog series is intended to add a voice to that national dialogue.

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Working at Knightscope;

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We care passionately about our work – to make the United States of America the safest country in the world.  To do that takes extreme mental fortitude and stamina.  We believe that the best places to work provide their people with life satisfaction as opposed to job satisfaction alone.  And that starts with having a healthy culture.  We are far from perfect, but we strive for excellence every day.

Each person who joins our team spends time with one or both Knightscope founders during the onboarding process for a first-hand account of the corporate culture and how to best position oneself to identify the area of work that provides them with the greatest potential for fulfillment, career advancement and growth – to help them identify their “calling.”  One of the points we make up front is that we don’t hire employees; we invite teammates with tremendous value to join the Knightscope mission.  Everyone brings their own UNIQUE set of experiences and expertise that will positively impact the Company’s long-term goals, and we want them to know up front that they are becoming a part of something bigger than each of us.

We are developing breakthrough technologies which require the best and brightest thinkers, builders and doers who are passionate about making a meaningful and positive difference in their communities. We want teammates that can handle the ups and downs of startups – hard work, long hours and dedication to do whatever it takes to accomplish our goals.  We may need air and water to survive, but that isn’t our purpose.  Our purpose is to help people live better, safer lives.

Statistically speaking, over 95% of startups fail and according to some sources 80% never make it past the 3rd anniversary.  Working at a startup is not for everyone – much less the faint hearted.  The good news is that we’ve continued to pour a steady stream of new technologies out of Silicon Valley for over 8 years now and still have at least 3 decades worth of work ahead for us for all we want to accomplish!

In order to achieve that, our team is encouraged to think and act like owners.  Allowing them to control aspects of their work, we learned, is the key to accomplishing this.  Those who have a certain degree of latitude to rearrange, modify, and improve their assignments feel possession over them, and once this happens, their mindsets begin to change.  Instead of focusing on what cannot be done, they become preoccupied with what can.  As a result, they are more easily able to grow, innovate, and push Knightscope forward.

Boredom is never an issue either.  At a startup, you never have enough time, people, or resources needed.  Everyone must be able to wear multiple hats and be willing to proactively cover or help a teammate from time to time – no matter when you are asked (or not).  Most folks have a job title and likely 3 to 7 other jobs they are doing on the side, which makes for an exciting workday and a broader learning experience.

But things will go wrong.  An upset client is made more upset because a shipment is delayed, and parts don’t arrive on time.  A human error occurs.  A bug is identified in the system, and no one can resolve it for weeks, months or sometimes over a year.  We may have to start over with an all-new approach.  Maybe a supplier changes something and decides to not tell anyone.  We sign too many new client contracts at one time and stress the system, or clients have to cancel a contract at precisely the wrong time.  We may lose good people, or we determine we were not a good fit for others.

The beautiful thing is, however, that if you weather the storm, occasionally everything goes right!  It all clicks.  You realize how much you have learned in so little time; how you have grown and were able to rise to the occasion.  And now you are ready for more and more responsibility.  Not only is the Company growing but so are you!

Working at a startup can be extremely rewarding, as in our case we are shipping new software every two weeks and new hardware every few months – and your actions will have a direct impact on the business.  Some people thrive on that reality, and some are horrified by that level of responsibility, can’t handle the pressure and crumble.

We have a keen interest in people with strong backgrounds in the areas of robotics, autonomous technology, sensors, electric vehicles as well as sales gurus, operational experts and just plain honest working folks that don’t wear capes but are heroes, nonetheless.  We are technologists, disruptors, car guys, designers, engineers, veterans, entrepreneurs, supporters of #WomenInTechnology, dreamers, geeks and patriots.

If you have grit, passion, and the stamina to flourish in an incredibly diverse start-up environment, please apply at www.knightscope.com/careers and let’s see if you got what it takes!  Let’s go!

 

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Need Help with Your Balanced Scorecard?;

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Someone is always at the bottom or, in this case, has the lowest Balanced Scorecard. Each company can likely name the five lowest scorers, be it a branch, location, facility, center, region, etc. Month to month, quarter to quarter, these low scorers are the focus of emails, conference calls, and what no doubt feels like 80% of an executive’s time.

The Balanced Scorecard (BSC) was initially introduced by Doctor Robert Kaplan, a Harvard Professor, and Doctor David Norton in 1992. Since then, it has been adopted by many organizations to ensure management reporting focuses on the most important strategic issues and helps companies monitor the execution of their plan. Using Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), they measure the critical (key) indicators of progress toward an intended result. While financial measurements have existed for centuries, the BSC focuses senior, regional and local management on non-financial KPIs. For example, in the manufacturing industry they can range from on-time delivery, inventory accuracy, defects, to machine downtime. In healthcare, these might be bed occupancy rates, average length of stay, patient confidentiality, emergency room wait time and so on to name just a few.

There are scores of books written on what a BSC is and how to develop and incorporate it. In short, the BSC outlines 4 main Perspectives, or areas of focus, for which KPIs are developed as shown here. Regardless of the industry, every BSC includes a Learning and Growth Perspective, which is focused on employees, and also a Customer Perspective, which should answer “How does the customer see us?” This extensively successful business metrics model is about people and their experience interacting with the organization. Employees and customers both want to feel valued and appreciated, but often times an overall low scoring branch or location is suffering from low customer and employee satisfaction scores, high turnover, and low retention. Again, these two areas make up half the BSC score.

So, how can Knightscope improve the score for your bottom five?

Let’s start with an employee’s experience during a single day and how our Autonomous Security Robots (ASRs) can make an impactful difference. Let’s call her Sarah and she’s your General Manager.

Upon arrival at work, Sarah parks her car in the employee parking lot. Six months ago, she would often arrive to find people sleeping in a car or in the stairwells. But now thanks to the ASR you approved, she no longer has that problem as her workday begins. She’s also no longer worried her car or any of her employees’ cars will be broken into, as the robot has deterred criminal activity since its arrival. Her employees are now voicing their appreciation to her for the robot, instead of complaining about the lack of security or management’s seeming lack of concern. As one of Sarah’s employees parks his car, the robot patrols by and says “Good morning! Be sure to lock your car and please don’t forget your facemask. Have a safe day.” This reminds him to put on his safety vest as well. Sarah has seen the much-needed improvement in safety policy compliance, reducing the number of verbal and written warnings that her supervisors have to issue.

Around 11:00 AM Sarah opens the ASR’s user interface software on her computer to take a video tour around the facility. Her other robot, who the team has affectionately nicknamed OSHA, is patrolling the manufacturing area. She can see that her team is wearing their safety gear and are maintaining social distances and then hears the robot’s safety tip for the day “A spill, a trip, a hospital trip. Safety is no accident!” She also notices a delivery driver in a prohibited area, so she contacts the supervisor to address it.

As OSHA heads outside, Sarah can see their two large propane tanks on video. She’s reminded of the potential disaster three months ago when temporary workers from the staffing agency repeatedly moved two chairs and an ashtray close to the tanks to smoke cigarettes. Now OSHA provides a cautionary reminder each time it patrols by, “Highly flammable gas. Smoking is only permitted in the designated areas.”

OSHA switches roles now and is in security mode as it reaches the distant fence line at the back of the property. It stops for 3 minutes to observe, report and make its presence known, announcing “This area is under surveillance. Trespassers will be prosecuted.” After having thieves and vandals cut through or jump over the fence multiple times each month, Sarah is relieved that neither she nor her team have had to deal with this issue since OSHA arrived. As the robot continues its patrol, Sarah logs out of the software, confident the robot will alert her security team if/when needed.

After lunch, Sarah needs to prepare for her BSC review call with her regional management that afternoon. She has good news to report. Worker’s Compensation claims are down, lost time is down, sick pay costs are down, employee retention is up, training costs are down. There have been fewer terminations, which resulted in zero wrongful termination lawsuits filed in the past three months. The legal fees her branch is being charged is averaging $4500 less each month than a year ago without her ASR. With employee turnover decreasing and employee referrals increasing, she’s been able to eliminate the need for costly temporary workers, which likely also explains the downtrend in losses due to internal theft. Facility maintenance costs are also down – the back fence has not been cut, not one window broken, and vandalism has disappeared in past six months. Year-to-date, this alone is a savings of $6,500 over the previous year. Best of all, Sarah’s employee satisfaction scores are now the highest in the region.

For the first time since joining the company one year ago, Sarah is looking forward to the call and has even taken her resume off Indeed!

For your bottom five, there’s only one way to go. Why not contact us to discuss how we can help them? Knightscope’s robots make peoples’ experiences better, safer, and even improve morale, as you can see…

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Integrating Robots Into Post Orders;

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Integrating ASRs and KSOC Into Your Post Orders

So, you have signed up with Knightscope and your K1, K3 and K5 Autonomous Security Robots (ASRs) have been configured and deployed. Your Knightscope Security Operations Center (KSOC) web-based software has been set up and you and your team have gone through a virtual training session with Knightscope’s Client Experience (CX) team. You have collaborated with Knightscope’s CX team and designated your Patrol Schedule. You have determined your alert thresholds – people detections by time and location, license plate BOLOs (be-on-the-lookout), Automatic Signal Detection (ASD) BOLOs, facial recognition BOLOs, parking meter violations, and thermal anomalies. You have signed off on your pre-recorded broadcast messages that are to be audibly announced using the ASR’s voice as well as your periodic messaging selection by time increments. And you have selected the land line or cell phone number to receive calls from anyone pressing the intercom button. Now what?

Now it is time to prepare for the greatest impact and benefits possible from your Knightscope deployment. It is time to get your ASRs & KSOC fully incorporated into your Post Orders. Whether you have a Security Operations Center (SOC) or Command Center, or you just have one member of the security team working per shift in addition to your 24/7 ASR’s, your robots can be leveraged to provide real-time support in your security team’s day to day operations. Here are some of our suggestions on how other clients have layered ASRs into their Post Orders.

 

People Detection Alerts or Suspicious Individuals

As your mobile ASRs patrol and/or your K1 monitors, they detect people in a place or at a time in which you designated that an escalated alert for human detection be provided. Maybe it is in an area of the site that is closed during certain hours of the day or during a time and in a location where you have seen an increase in criminal behavior. When a person is detected under these conditions, an alert is sent to the team through the KSOC user interface, an email is sent to the SOC/Command Center team or a Security Receptionist, and/or the patrol officer receives a text notification. All of this is in place to ensure the appropriate personnel get the most relevant, real time alerts possible and can take the necessary action(s).

The SOC/Command Center Operator or Security Receptionist jumps into the KSOC and instantly begins to stream live video and turns on the 360-degree view, then they switch on the live audio. The SOC/Command Center Operator sees the suspicious individual and pauses the ASR patrol, which stops the robot. They click on a Pre-Recorded Broadcast Message that says, “Hello, I’m a security robot, you are being recorded for your safety.” The individual does not leave the area. The operator then initiates an intercom call and speaks directly to the individual “This is Jeff from the security team, this site is currently closed, please leave the area or we will notify the authorities.” The individual leaves.

 

Blacklisted License Plate Alerts

Whether it is a license plate belonging to a vehicle that was believed to be part of a past break in (with a plate number previously captured by the KSOC and flagged by a user), or an employee parked in visitor parking, the KSOC can provide this real time alert via email, text, KSOC or phone call. Your KSOC users can see where on the map this blacklisted license plate was detected and immediately contact local law enforcement. The KSOC alert will provide a video clip so the user can potentially see someone getting in or out of the vehicle. They are alerted to exactly where the vehicle was detected and at what time with an image in which they may zoom.

 

Parking Violations

Parking Violations can range from cars being parked for more than twenty-four (24) hours in a non-twenty-four (24) hour parking lot to a vehicle parked for five (5) hours in a four (4) hour electric vehicle charge station parking space. Once the violation is received in the KSOC or via email or text, the security team can send a team member to slide a courtesy notice under the windshield wiper or an email can be sent directly to the employee if there is an employee license plate database. The security team will immediately have access to the violating vehicle location, the time the violation was detected, the type of violation, a zoom-ready image, and video clips providing for 360-degree coverage. All of this can be used as evidence in instances of towing or ticketing of vehicles in violation.

 

Thermal Anomaly Alerts

Thermal anomaly alerts can be an overheating pipe on the brink of exploding to a vehicle accidentally left running causing a carbon monoxide hazard to a breaker box on the verge of catching fire. The KSOC account will already have had thermal temperature thresholds defined by temperature and time of day. The elevated temperature alert will be sent via email, text or KSOC alert notification. The KSOC user(s) will know exactly where and when the thermal hazard was detected. They will also have 360-degree recorded video of the thermal hazard detection and an image with a zooming feature. The KSOC user(s) will have the approximate temperature recorded as well and can notify the fire department if a true threat exists.

 

Automatic Signal Detection (ASD) Alerts

ASD alerts can range from a cell phone belonging to individuals previously believed to have committed crime to a bomb detonation device accessing Wi-Fi to a rogue router placed in the trunk of a vehicle by a hacker to be used for cyber-intrusion. The KSOC will provide email, text or in-the-app KSOC notifications. The ASD alert has the capacity for providing a photo of the individual along with reasoning for the blacklisting. The ASD alert will contain the time of the alert, the dwell time of the device, a list of detections over the past two (2) weeks for that device and how far away from the robot the device was when detected. The KSOC user(s) can then notify authorities or attempt to locate the device or deter the individual from committing another crime.

 

Suspicious Vehicle

The KSOC user(s) could be tasked with routine streaming live video analysis to search for anything suspicious. In the event a user detects a suspicious vehicle, the robot can be stopped, the KSOC can then broadcast a message loudly (they can adjust volume) to that individual that they are being recorded. The fact that the robot is stopped and is speaking to them directly demonstrates that this machine is far beyond just a camera system on the move. Persons of Interest or suspicious individuals quickly recognize that this Robot is capturing a lot more about them than meets the eye. KSOC users can also trigger the local Alarm on the Robot itself, as well as broadcast messages using their own voice via an initiated intercom call or they can type custom messages that are broadcasted using the Robot’s voice as needed.

 

Criminal Incident

Should the security team detect a crime in progress, they can trigger the local Alarm on the robot. They can contact Law Enforcement or threaten with their own voice or with robot’s voice that authorities are being notified. They can also stop the robot and increase the volume of the Patrol Sound, the Intercom or of Broadcast to help intervene. The security team can emphasize to the individual that they are being recorded and the video of them can be used as evidence in prosecution. The video can also be turned over to Law Enforcement and/or the Knightscope Custom Experience (CX) team can provide video forensic investigation support.

 

Workplace Violence Threat

The KSOC can provide for real time alerts for threats of Workplace Violence. It can be the license plate belonging to someone who had been terminated and had a hostile exit interview. The KSOC can provide an alert for a cell phone detected or a facial recognition match that belongs to that individual with time and where that individual might be located. Local Law Enforcement or any on-site Executive Protection Agents can then be alerted.

 

Facial Recognition Alert

If Facial Recognition is elected to be activated as a part of the deployment, Knightscope’s third-party facial recognition software provider can then be included for any K1 and as a part of the overall security team’s KSOC account. Current Employee, Former Employee or Person of Interest (POI) images can be uploaded into the KSOC with a reason for this individual being flagged. The robots and the software will then scan for that threatening individual indefinitely. The security team can receive real time text, email or KSOC alerts of a threatening individual. Local Authorities and/or Executive Protection teams can be notified, the local Alarm can be triggered and/or a message alerting everyone in the immediate area (with a description of the individual) that there is a potentially threatening individual in the area.

Now that you’ve learned “How to Integrate Autonomous Security Robots into Your Post Orders,” let’s set up a meeting, so we can begin addressing any issues you may be facing today. Request a demo here.

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Are You Prepared To Manage COVID-19 Through The Winter?;

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Winter is here… my how time has flown by. Whether you’re working from home these days or not, the season is now breathing cold air down our backs. But more importantly and concerning is while we all hope COVID-19 goes away and the vaccines bring everything back to “normal,” we need to be prepared to deal with it for several more months at a minimum, if not much, much longer.

Our apologies for the negativity. We’re certainly not trying to bring your spirits down as we kick off this new year. All of us here at Knightscope are working hard to keep our heads up, maintain a positive attitude and focus our attention on sharing the positive message about how our robots keep people safer. We are here to help our current and future clients to be prepared for the best-case scenario, but potentially for the worst case, too. That’s what we do in public safety and security. It comes with the job and it is our responsibility. Just like our robots, we send alerts when a potential risk is detected!

Hindsight is 20/20. If you could rewind time back to the beginning of 2020 or earlier, what would you do differently? Initially, many were thinking everything would be back to normal within a couple of weeks. Unfortunately, that’s not the case and the current situation raises some really alarming questions that we need to consider:

How much longer will we see double a digit national unemployment rate?

What impact is this, and will this continue to have, on crime in your area?

Will we see a spike in the homeless population?

What would the impact be if you have just one employee tests positive for COVID-19?

How will the economic climate effect your organization throughout 2021 and beyond?

What new challenges will exist if you need to shut down one or more of your facilities?

Like us, many of our clients don’t have the answers to many of these questions which further validates their decision to incorporate our Autonomous Security Robots (ASR). Time and time again, they’ve reported the positive impact the ASRs have had in deterring and detecting criminal activity. Here are just a few examples:

  • A major hospital network was experiencing, on average, 2 crimes per week in the parking lot of one of their main hospitals. Once our K5 ASR was deployed, the crimes were eliminated, recording zero crimes in the following 12 months.
  • After using a K5 for the first 7 months in a public park, the Huntington Park Police Department recorded a 46% reduction in crimes and 68% reduction in citations (see details here).
  • A commercial property in downtown San Francisco was averaging 20 crimes per month in their parking structure, including trespassing, vandalisms, and thefts. After deploying a K5, they recorded just 1 crime in 12 months.

In addition to deterring crime, take a look at some other advantages the ASRs bring:

ASRs Are Immune to COVID-19. They will be on duty, deterring, detecting, and alerting 24/7. Deploying an ASR for routine patrol activities helps keep humans safe from the threat of mingling among large or small crowds of people. If an asymptomatic carrier coughs or sneezes on a robot, it does not have to run out and get tested for COVID-19 and wait days for the results… it just keeps working at no risk.

Support Facility Management. If you have a facility that is shut down or has reduced operations and personnel, the ASRs can perform a facility tour at ground level, with 360-degree live video, to inspect landscaping, fencing, lighting, safety conditions, and much more.

Enhance Remote Video Monitoring Effectiveness. Whether you’re monitoring a property remotely yourself through your CCTV system, you have a security operations center monitoring it, or are using a remote video monitoring center service to do this for you, ASRs provide a unique capability to investigate an incident and reach areas not covered by cameras, delivering real-time video and two-way audio.

Contingent Patrol Routes can be preprogrammed to expand coverage in the event your security team is short-staffed due to illness or other staffing challenges.

Keep your employees and security team safe. The intercom feature built into the ASR allows your team to minimize interaction with the public, reducing their risk of exposure to COVID-19. The ASR could literally be your gatekeeper or remote receptionist.

Promote COVID-19 Prevention. Here’s a sample of messages ASRs can broadcast in English and/or Spanish when a person is detected: See video below.

  • “Please maintain social distances while at this site.”
  • “All employees and visitors are required to wear a face mask.”
  • “Please use hand sanitizer when entering and exciting this facility.”
  • “If you feel ill or have had a fever in the past 14 days, please do not enter this facility.”

So as you bundle up to prepare for what the Winter will inevitably unleash upon us, it’s also time to think about how to best manage the ongoing pandemic to contribute to a brighter Spring outlook. And if you didn’t already know, we deliver, setup, program, maintain and service the robots entirely for you making it one of the easiest security services to incorporate. Please contact us for more information and to schedule a one-on-one demo today.

Have a healthy and safe 2021, and help protect your organization, its employees and those visiting.

Posted in Blog

Knightscope Credited for Reducing Crime;

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MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Knightscope, Inc., a developer of advanced physical security technologies focused on enhancing U.S. security operations, announced today that crime statistics from its first police department client, the City of Huntington Park, are now publicly available.

Between June and December 2018, the Huntington Park Police Department registered 277 entries of police activity in the Salt Lake Park area, a period during which no Autonomous Security Robot (ASR) was deployed. Inclusive of this police activity are the following statistics:

  • 48 crime or incident reports

  • 11 arrests

  • 120 citations issued

During a like period one year later – June through December 2019 – when the Knightscope K5 ASR was deployed and fully operational, the level of police activity diminished to only 249 recorded entries, which included:

  • 26 crime or incident reports

  • 14 arrests

  • 38 citations issued

In analyzing the data gathered, Huntington Park Police Department surmised that the K5 Autonomous Security Robot is having a positive impact on crime, nuisance activity and police responses at Salt Lake Park as follows:

  • 10% reduction in calls for service

  • 46% reduction in crime reports

  • 27% increase in arrests

  • 68% reduction in citations

“I am simply elated that Knightscope was able to assist the City of Huntington Park and its citizens to enjoy greater peace of mind when visiting Salt Lake Park,” said William Santana Li, chairman and chief executive officer, Knightscope, Inc. “Our long-term vision is to make the United States of America the safest country on the planet, and this is a meaningful step in the right direction.”

About Knightscope

Knightscope is an advanced security technology company based in Silicon Valley that builds fully autonomous security robots that deter, detect and report. Our long-term ambition is to make the United States of America the safest country in the world. Learn more about us at www.knightscope.com. Follow Knightscope on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn and Instagram.

 

Knightscope Crime Fighting Wins Nationwide

Knightscope ASR Technology delivers…..

  • Armed Robbery – security robot provided the best evidence of armed robbery and theft of vehicle.  Data provided to law enforcement in time to arrest suspect.

  • BOLO – assisted a law enforcement agency with an investigation by providing high definition quality video and license plate detections for 30 instances over a period of 4 months of the BOLO (Be On The Lookout)

  • Burglaries – elicited confession to a law enforcement agency for two burglaries and felony property damage using evidence solely collected from a Knightscope K5

  • Domestic Violence – captured eye level footage of assault which was used by law enforcement for prosecution

  • Feeling of Safety – improved sense of security voiced to Administration and Security Director by nurses and doctors while walking to their cars after dark

  • Fire – identified heat anomaly in a hair styling kiosk; officers dispatched, removed kiosk covering and found equipment left turned on; thermal camera on security robot helped to avoid a major fire

  • Fraud – assisted a real estate owner in stopping a fraudulent insurance claim

  • Hit and Run – helped in identification and verification of car involved in hit and run in parking lot; security robot data was directly responsible for catching the suspect

  • Incident Reduction – commercial property owner was experiencing 20 crime/security incidents per month before deploying the K5 and now is down to 1 for the entire last year that the K5 has been patrolling 24/7

  • Perimeter Expansion – assisted a casino operator with extending their signal detection perimeter capabilities to outside of facility and adding eye level high definition video at critical ingress / egress location

  • Sexual Predator – helped law enforcement issue an arrest warrant for a sexual predator

  • Slip and Fall – casino operator was able to save over $100,000 in avoiding a lawsuit over a slip and fall incident by providing eye-level video evidence

  • Stolen Bikes – numerous bikes stolen and only one since security robot deployed

  • Thief – helped a security guard catch a thief in a retail establishment

  • Trespassing – client has prevented trespassers and substance abusers from living at one of their locations. As a result of deploying the robot they haven’t had a trespasser in 6 months.

  • Vandalism – assisted a corporation in tracking down a vandal

  • Vehicle Break-Ins – client was experiencing 1 – 2 vehicle break-ins or thefts per week; has gone down to ZERO in the last 10 months

… and more in progress. Knightscope has you covered 24/7/365.

 

“When I’m walking to my car, and it’s 4 AM in the morning and really dark. I’ll be walking really carefully, holding tightly to my phone and keys. Then, I hear the Robot’s sound that it makes as it’s patrolling the garage, and a wave of relief washes over me, that I’m not alone, and it makes me feel better.”
—Physician

 

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Crime Fighting Mission

Knightscope’s mission is to make the United States of America the safest country in the world. We don’t believe the Founders of our country ever expected us to build a society where going to work, going to school, going to a movie theater, or going shopping literally came with a risk of being shot or killed.

The world is going to change more in the next 10 years than the last 100 years combined. Self-driving autonomous technology, robotics, and artificial intelligence are profound drivers of that change and Knightscope is at the forefront of commercializing new capabilities in the $500 billion global security market – and has proven an ability to execute in the marketplace.

 

In our Country, a Violent Crime Occurs Every 24.6 seconds

 

One murder every 30.5 minutes

One rape every 3.9 minutes

One robbery every 1.7 minutes

One aggravated assault every 39.0 seconds

 

In our Country, a Property Crime Occurs Every 4.1 seconds

 

One burglary every 22.6 seconds

One larceny-theft every 5.7 seconds

One motor vehicle theft every 40.9 seconds

 

In our Country, we lack the advanced technologies to address the problem…until now

 

2+ million law enforcement and security professionals, running 24/7, attempting to secure 320+ million citizens across 50 states just doesn’t work without the appropriate tools for our nation’s first responders to be able to do their jobs effectively.

Knightscope provides these brave women and men in uniform new unprecedented capabilities utilizing a unique combination of self-driving technology, robotics and artificial intelligence and has proven its capabilities across the country with numerous crime fighting wins – and we are just getting started.

 

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Security Guard Services To Autonomous Security Robots;

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Imagine spending your entire career in the Global Physical Security industry working your way up the corporate ladder, moving from one security guard services company to another. You grow to learn the industry lingo – terms such as “HPW,” “UBOT,” and “Verbal Judo” have become second nature to you. You continue expanding your knowledge base with professional security training, industry association seminars and countless site tours of Global Security Operations Centers (GSOCs) to analyze various ways to execute the mission in the field.

You built a network of strong relationships with industry experts, decision makers and career security professionals and soon became a trusted advisor for maximizing security program effectiveness through strategic recommendations based on years of experience. The potential of a site security team, or of a site security program, were what you had truly come to know.

Then one day out of the blue you are presented with an opportunity to drastically shift gears and start anew while helping to trailblaze a new industry. You are offered a position at an organization that is at the bleeding edge of AI, SaaS, Robotics and Self-Driving technology. This organization is the epitome of “cutting-edge…” it is Knightscope. You found yourself at the crossroads during a time when Autonomous Security Robots were transforming from what was once Hollywood fiction to what is now a reality in Global Physical Security. You do some soul searching. You imagine all of the possibilities and then you accept the position after considering the alternative: getting left behind in a struggling profession – an industry ripe for disruption.

On your first day at the office, you venture into a complete unknown. It’s a feeling of exciting uncertainty you haven’t felt in years. You meet the team and can’t believe how overwhelmingly kind, happy and highly intelligent each member of your new work family is. It almost seems unreal, but it gives you a deep feeling of warmth towards this new chapter in your career. You draw some comparisons as you gradually come to know your new work environment. What you once knew as a training room & training manager have now become a sea of workstations belonging to software programmers and machine learning models. A security guard uniform room is now a production area dedicated to custom outfits for Robots with client-specific logos, paint colors and designs. The old, dark dispatch center and scheduling team workspace morphed into a state-of-the-art 24/7 Knightscope Network Operations Center (KNOC) with a team of specialists monitoring real time diagnostics for a fleet of Robots. This is an entirely new world indeed!

As you learn about the Autonomous Security Robot (ASR) itself, you notice some similarities. The Robot patrols at walking speed just as an officer on foot patrol would. And, just as a Security Guard had eyes, ears, boots on the ground and voice, the Robot has eye-level, streaming video; live audio; wheels on the ground: and pre-recorded broadcast messages and intercom. With the same purpose of security guards patrolling in golf carts or patrol vehicles with revolving lights as a deterrent, ASRs have a highly visible lighting design and strobe effect that could be seen from over 1,000 feet away.

Similar to the original purpose of a security guard, the ASR is meant to deter, detect, observe and report. However, you quickly realize that there are many differences. The Robot doesn’t just have “eyes,” it has 360-degree HD video with powerful analytics making it more capable of detecting a human that the human eye may not even be able to see under certain conditions. In addition, it records everything 24/7 and stores it for instant recall at a later date. It isn’t reliant upon human memory or note taking. It has daylight / low light recording capability of everything it encounters. It also doesn’t just have ears, but a sensitive 16-microphone array with two-way audio functionality allowing humans to have a live conversation with another through the Robot itself as the communication medium.

Throughout your career, you interfaced extensively through a variety of proprietary, web-based softwares or Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) models. It had been offered often in tandem with other security guard services to expand the site security team’s incident reporting accuracy, facilitate more timely communication and as a system for performance checks and balances. But the software was always dependent on the security officer manually selecting from various drop-down menus, typing reports or onto a tablet or smart phone device, all the while taking the officer’s attention away from their current patrol or coverage area. Now, the Autonomous Security Robot is recording everything automatically, patrolling autonomously and continuously while it reports incidents or “Alerts” in real time via email, text, cloud-based software notifications or by initiating an intercom call.

The Autonomous Security Robot isn’t reliant upon completing various in-person or online training courses, but rather on machine learning, deep learning and refining its detection capabilities over time and moving toward reducing or even eliminating its margin of error. You recall an experience in the past when you were unable to remember a license plate number that could have led to catching a bad guy. And now, these ASRs are recording license plate numbers continuously… in 360 degrees… and can detect and alert you of a license plate it was asked to look for years earlier belonging to a Person of Interest (POI). They can even monitor how long a particular vehicle has been parked in a particular area and determine whether or not an Alert should be generated to flag something suspicious or even just a parking violation.

These Autonomous Security Robots can also detect cell phone or suspicious device names within a 492-foot radius and read the heat signature coming from a human, a potential source of fire or thermal hazards. They can, in a sense, see in the dark.

In reflection, and in honor of Mark Twain, you threw off your bowlines and sailed away from that safe harbor that you once knew as your career. You are now catching the trade winds in your sails and exploring, dreaming and discovering your new future.

If you think a career at Knightscope is for you, head over to our Careers Page to learn more. Join Us and Be a Force for Good!

Posted in Blog

By The Numbers;

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Knightscope is the only company in the world (that we know of) commercially operating fully autonomous “vehicles” 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in all types of environmental conditions across an entire country – with no human intervention. The Knightscope team now has deployment contracts across five (5) US time zones. Working with several of the Fortune 1000, and in its seventh year since being founded, Knightscope has accumulated valuable real-world experience as well as concrete performance statistics.

Over 1 Million Miles Traveled and 527,000 Operating Miles

Knightscope’s patrolling K3 and K5 Autonomous Security Robots (ASRs) are configured with wheel odometers tracking how far each machine has traveled on a continuous basis. With a 24/7 Machine-as-a-Service model, Knightscope’s fleet of ASRs have traveled more than 527,000 operating miles commercially, and they have traveled more than 1 million miles overall. This important metric is tracked and reported to clients on a routine basis, including in Quarterly Business Reviews (QBR’s) to demonstrate coverage and presence. Patrolling at roughly two to three miles per hour, the K3 and K5 are patrolling around the clock, and even while they are autonomously charging for minutes at a time, they are still recording 360 degrees in HD, processing detections and alerts and speaking to people automatically upon detection or by interval of time.

10.5 Million License Plate Detections

With 360-degree Automatic License Plate Recognition (ALPR) included with K5 ASRs, and K1 stationary machines equipped with static ALPR, Knightscope’s robot fleet has detected more than 10.5 million license plates. This critical data set is continuously scanned for Be on the Lookout (BOLO) individuals or licenses plates belonging to Persons of Interest for respective client sites.

Knightscope K5s are also tracking how long each vehicle has been parked in a particular area with Parking Meter. Knightscope clients are then able to receive alerts via email, text, or in our cloud-based user interface – the Knightscope Security Operations Center (KSOC) – for vehicles exceeding predefined duration of time thresholds by location or even parking level for multi-level garages. This is vital for limited term parking enforcement or for gaining real time visibility for caches of stolen or even abandoned vehicles.

With this data, Knightscope clients have been able to continuously search license plates retrieved by their machines with full or partial plate numbers. They have also been able to upload or export all of their license plate data by the thousands to .CSV files directly from the KSOC.

1.4 Billion Signals Detected

Spanning more than five years of commercial operations Knightscope’s fleet of ASRs have detected over 1.4 billion device signals. This powerful feature is constantly scanning a 400+ foot foot radius from each Knightscope machine for any device emitting a Wi-Fi signal. These public signals can be anything from cell phones to unknown or suspicious devices (i.e., rogue router). The detections provide for a rich data set for real time alerts for possible cyber-intrusions, potential detonation devices or threats of workplace violence or public safety.

240 Million People Detected

With powerful People Detection analytics, Knightscope’s ASRs have had over 240 million detections of people. These People Detections can be escalated as alerts based on predefined client thresholds for time of day and location. Knightscope robots can also automatically broadcast messages when a person is detected with messages such as “good morning,” “thanks for visiting xyz site” or “authorities have been notified of your presence,” also dependent upon time and/or location.

80 Million Thermal Images

Knightscope’s Robots that are deployed with Thermal Imaging cameras have processed over 80 million thermal images. Anomalies arising out of these Thermal detections can also be escalated via KSOC alerts, email or text message or voice based on predefined temperature threshold based on time of day or location. These can be alerts representing an escalating temperature from a fire hazard or the body temperature of a human who has fallen to the ground in a poorly lit environment.

1,100 Be on the Lookout (BOLO) Alert Notifications

Throughout its deployments, Knightscope’s Robots & AI software have communicated alerts in real time for individuals on a client-generated BOLO list. These alerts can be instantly relayed via email, text, KSOC alerts or voice notifications. This number is crucial, as these could represent workplace violence threats, domestic violence threats, industrial espionage threats, criminal threats and/or threats to Public Safety.

49 People to Mac Address Matches

Over the years, Knightscope’s Robots & AI software have relayed 49 people to Mac Address matches. These represent individuals that have had their Mac Addresses not only flagged but matched as belonging to that individual. Our clients may also include photos of that individual as well as a description of the reason they have been flagged and/or blacklisted when entering them into the KSOC to provide an additional layer of identification when an alert is triggered.

40 Blacklisted License Plates Found

With each K5 equipped with 360-degree Automatic License Plate Recognition (ALPR) and K1s with static ALPR, Knightscope’s fleet of robots has provided real time alerts for license plates that had previously been blacklisted or entered as BOLO individuals in the KSOC. This critical information is entered by Knightscope client KSOC users when a known or perceived threat is made. As with other alerts, these blacklisted license plates can be escalated in real time via email, text, KSOC alert and/or voice notifications.

Now that you’ve learned about Knightscope “By the Numbers,” let’s set up a meeting, so we can begin addressing any issues you may be facing today.

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