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Meet the Knightscope Summer 2018 Interns!;

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PHOTO (left to right): Shivani Singh, the K1 Stationary ADM, and Matt Condino at Knightscope Headquarters in Mountain View, California

A great way to test a company’s culture is to immerse new people in it for a short amount of time at a time of peak workload. That is what we did with our two 2018 summer interns and considering that over 10,000+ people have applied to work at Knightscope, it is no easy feat to get to work here.  As our CEO, William Santana Li, said “I have built numerous teams in my life, but never one like this….absolutely honored and privileged to work with our team of dedicated, relentless, smart, slightly crazy folks!”  We’ve been extremely lucky that a number of our interns over the years have been anxious to come back as full-time employees – and have done extraordinarily well and contributed so much!

Interns require a commitment of time from their manager and peers to be able to be productive in the short time they are at Knightscope, but they can also be a great addition to the team (no, they are not running around getting coffee for people or opening the snail mail).  Mercedes Soria, Executive Vice President and Chief Intelligence Officer, asked our shiny, new, bright interns Shivani Singh and Matthew Condino what they think about working at Knightscope and here is what they had to say:

Q. Can you tell me a bit about yourself?  Where did you go to school and what do you think about Silicon Valley?

Shivani: I’m about to start my senior year at Boston University, and I’m majoring in Computer Engineering.  I grew up in the Silicon Valley, so I’m very used to the culture around here. It’s a place saturated with a lot of intelligent people and innovative businesses, which I really admire. It’s home to me. And there’s always a really great milk tea place at every corner!

Matt:  I went to college at Santa Clara University and got a bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering. I am currently enrolled at Santa Clara in a master’s program in Mechanical Engineering with an emphasis in Robotics and Mechatronics. I love Silicon Valley, I had no idea I would enjoy this much when I moved to the area 5 years ago. There’s definitely a work hard – play hard attitude here, which suits me well.

Q. What made you decide to work at a startup and especially at Knightscope?

Shivani: When I was applying for internships, I was looking for an environment where I would experience the most growth, intellectually and personally. I figured that a startup would be perfect, and a startup in the Silicon Valley would be even more-so. There was actually a Knightscope Robot in the Boston area – I believe it was a K5, but I’m not too sure. That’s when I first had any interaction with the company. From the get-go, I was captivated by the robots and the company’s mission statement. Knightscope fit all of the internship criteria I had.

Matt: I love that everyone here is so committed to tackling difficult problems. Being able to work with state-of-the-art technology definitely drew me to Knightscope, since the company has some of the most cutting-edge autonomous tech in the field.

Q. What do you think is the most necessary quality for someone to do this job?

Shivani: It’s extremely important to be open to learning new technologies in a fearless manner. If you don’t know something, that’s okay – use the resources around you to keep moving forward.

Matt: I think that someone needs to love learning in order to be an employee at Knightscope, since there’s a TON of stuff that I’ve had to learn here so far in order to start contributing. In addition, a willingness to solve problems collaboratively is definitely a plus, since in my experience, teamwork is the key to solving complex challenges.

Q. What is the most exciting thing about your job?

Shivani: Simply put, the fact that I get to work for a company that builds autonomous security robots is super cool. It’s humbling to make even the slightest bit of contribution to this cutting-edge technology.

Matt: I absolutely love robotics, so working at a company that is actively seeking to improve people’s lives through the application of robotic technology fascinates me!

Q. What is the most difficult thing you have had to do in this job?

Shivani: As an undergraduate intern, I definitely don’t know as much as everyone else around me. At first, it seemed intimidating, but it gave me the opportunity to explore, research, and learn – which is exactly what I was searching for. At the end of every day, I’m excited and content to know that I’ve gained a new skill.

Matt: I am trying to setup a simulation that emulates how our robot interacts with its environment, which has definitely challenged my skills and pushed me to grow as an engineer!

Q. Any funny situation that you remember?

Shivani: We had a number of young kids come by KHQ one day, and they all asked great questions – and one of those questions was explained in a very animated way to ensure the answer was understandable.

Matt: One of my coworkers was testing a robot’s text-to-speech capabilities and tried to make the robot say “quesadilla”. I never knew a robotic voice could be so hilarious!

Q. Your most memorable day at work?

Shivani: I had the chance to go to a deployment nearby, which really helped me visualize and understand what goes on “behind-the-scenes”. It was fascinating seeing it all come together.

Matt: My first day was pretty memorable since it was difficult to get used to seeing robots patrolling the hallways.

Q. Our interns are very accomplished and not only at work, here they share their hobbies. So the last question for you is…….do you have any hobbies?

Shivani: I love to dance! I’m on my university’s competitive garba-raas team. It’s a type of Indian folk dance, that I picked up in college. In my free time, I enjoy writing and blogging.

Matt: Of course! I’ve played drums for about 14 years now, so I enjoy drumming in my spare time. I also like rock climbing!

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Virtual Reality at Knightscope;

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PHOTO: The entire “K-Team” (left to right K3 indoor, K5 outdoor, K1 stationary and K7 multi-terrain) on the turntable in the Knightscope Virtual Reality Design Studio

So who designs your stuff?  Well, most people find it surprising that the entire creative process of industrial design is done in-house by Knightscope, led by our purely awesome Executive Vice President and Chief Design Officer, Aaron Lehnhardt (plus a little…., ok a lot, of influence and input from our CEO – it’s one of his favorite parts of his job!).

By the way, we not only design, but we engineer, we build, we deploy and we support our entire technology suite out of our offices in Mountain View – in the heart of Silicon Valley.  Actually each machine literally says “Designed and Built in Silicon Valley” on it.  We think some of us drank the water from down the street in Cupertino – we somehow have the same itch to want to do things in-house as much as possible similar to our friends over at Apple. It is not that we don’t start with looking to integrate existing technologies, but in a lot of cases we end up back at square one with having to develop our own stuff.

“No joke. He can read my mind,” said our CEO, William Santana Li.  Aaron and Bill have been working together for nearly 20 years and that, likely, is a more plausible explanation for the ‘mind reading’. Plus both are ex-Ford Motor Company so they have their own, odd, Detroit automotive short-hand speak.  “If people saw some of our really lengthy exchanges on designing something, usually arguing over a pixel, most would think one or both of us have a screw loose,” continued Li.

But how does Virtual Reality (VR) play a role at Knightscope?  Both Aaron and Bill, based on their automotive training, are used to more car, truck or SUV proportions – which from both a proportion and surfacing standpoint can be very difficult to apply to Knightscope’s Autonomous Data Machines (ADMs) – as they don’t necessarily resemble something that has existed in the marketplace for decades.  Combining hand sketches, digital sketches, proportional models and subsequently reviewing the entire package in VR (with reference points) can be a game changer in design verification, testing of a thesis, or validating a concept.  Fast!

The VR models can also be used for engineering confirmation, thinking through the design for assembly process, the design for service process, as well as for robust training procedures.  And, yes, potential clients that visit Knightscope Headquarters (KHQ) sometimes can get a glimpse of the future of what the team is working on behind-the-scenes.

Lastly, but most importantly, Aaron was able to get the Knightscope (VR) Design Studio (turntable, indoor and outdoor settings, etc.) up and going well before their ambition to one day physically build a design studio!  Until then, a heartfelt thank you to all of those hard working folks that made VR technology a reality.  We can now use it to accelerate the pace of our own technology development – providing new unprecedented tools for the 1+ million security guards and 1+ million law enforcement professionals nationwide – to help better secure our nation.  Technology has, can and will continue to change the world.

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Knightscope Securing America’s Airports;

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Knightscope K1 ADM at a major U.S. airport

Security professionals managing our nation’s 5,000+ airports face increasing challenges in keeping passengers, employees and vendors safe. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) reflected in their recent report that there are 4 major threats to airport security:

  • airport employees
  • aviation
  • cybersecurity
  • security on the ground within and outside of the airport and conflict zones

Nick Careen, Senior Vice President, airport passenger, cargo at IATA states “Airline systems are secure, but not without risk. We need nimble layers of protection, a security culture and advanced capabilities of detection. These must be powered by intelligence and information sharing.”

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security came to many of the same conclusions in the February 2017 briefing. They identified the security threats at the 450 airports under their control as: insider or airport employee threats and lack of adequate access control

The deficiencies in access control is of particular concern given the dramatic increase of terrorist groups laser focused on penetrating U.S. airport security to commit acts of terrorism. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) implemented new rules in October 2017 that now requires all U.S. domestic airline travelers to remove all electronic items larger than mobile phones such as tablets, e-readers and video game consoles from carry-on baggage for screening. These rules are designed to help quickly identify potential explosive materials that terrorists could be placing in these devices. These types of threats will require the security leader of today and tomorrow to utilize a robust program infused with new technology to secure our nation’s airports.

One major airport is experiencing the benefits of partnering with Knightscope to address these threats. They are utilizing Knightscope’s Autonomous Data Machines (ADM) to record license plates, engage in eye level video surveillance and alert arriving passengers in the baggage claim area and exterior passenger pick up areas not to take rides from unauthorized vendors.

Knightscope is answering the call to equip these leaders with cutting edge technology. The U.S. Department of Justice suggests that visible surveillance can deter crime up to 40% in most cases. Knightscope security robots provide a strong physical presence at 5 foot tall and weighing in at 400 lbs with a powerful strobe light and patrolling sound for our K5 ADM which is used both indoors and outdoors. Plus they autonomously operate 24/7 without human intervention as well as provide time/location/event based broadcast messages and live two-way intercom.

The K1 ADM stationary unit provides a solution for the increased need for advanced levels of detection needed in our nations airports. The simple to install machine requires simply power and can provide unprecedented situational awareness to security professionals through our intuitive browser-based user interface, the Knightscope Security Operations Center (KSOC).  At this particular airport, both K1 and K5 feed into the same deployment for a seamless experience at your fingertips.  There have been plenty of news articles out there but here is one for your reference.

Airport security professionals need to look no further than Knightscope as their partner to face the many challenging threats day in and day out. Request a private free demo here and we look forward to working with you to better secure your airports and reduce costs!

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Knightscope Securing America’s Supply Chain;

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Today, the supply chain industry faces significant challenges in ensuring regulatory compliance, preparing and responding to natural disasters and other major business disruptions. The most disturbing issue facing the industry is securing facilities against criminals or terrorists using logistics systems to execute an agenda of violence against the public or our country’s critical infrastructure.

One such global supply chain leader is experiencing the benefits of partnering with Knightscope to face these challenges. They saw on-site security incidents eliminated and significant cost savings within the first six months of launching the program.  You can read more about it here.

Preparing to successfully address these changes requires a new approach. The security industry with its current minimalist use of technology and revolving door of security officer staffing (upwards of 400% employee turnover rates) is struggling to provide the solutions supply chain leaders need to ensure their organizations do not become a victim of these costly crimes or worse yet, terroristic acts.

Knightscope is answering the call for these leaders who are looking beyond the traditional model of physical security to one that pairs human critical thinking with the ability of security robots to flawlessly perform monotonous and computationally-heavy work, day in and day out, 24/7 consistently.  The U.S. Department of Justice suggests that visible surveillance can deter crime up to 40% in cases. Knightscope security robots multiply this effect significantly through a strong physical presence at 5 foot tall and weighing in at 400 lbs. with a powerful strobe light and patrolling sound for our K5 Autonomous Data Machine (ADM).  Plus there is 360 degree live video streaming, eye level video surveillance, autonomously operating 24/7 without human intervention as well as time/location/event based broadcast messages and live two-way intercom.  You can even type out your custom message to meet your specific needs in the moment for the required audio announcement.

Supply chain leaders need to look no further than Knightscope to address their many security challenges.  Request a private free demo here and we look forward to working with you to better secure your facilities and reduce costs!

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Knightscope Operations Specialists: the humans behind the machines;

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Knightscope operates in 15 states and 4 time zones and we monitor our fleet of robots 24/7, and while our robots are easy to spot, there are many heroes behind them who are not.

The role of Operations Specialist requires a dedicated person who aims for nothing less than excellent customer service and we have several such team members as part of our team. From taking calls at midnight to chatting with a client during an emergency, the job is never a dull one.

Here is a quick interview with Richie Krauss, one of our Operation Specialists, to give you a flavor of what goes on behind-the-scenes.  He was interviewed by Mercedes Soria, VP Software Engineering, at Knightscope Headquarters on May 30, 2018

Can you tell me a bit about yourself? Where did you go to school and what do you think about Silicon Valley?

I attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison where I earned a degree in English and a certificate in Computer Science. Silicon Valley is exciting, especially when you think about all of the creativity and innovation that takes place here. There is also so much to do in the Bay Area.

What made you decide to work at a startup and especially at Knightscope?

I think the allure of being a part of something that starts small but becomes something larger than yourself. In terms of why I chose Knightscope? I think I just really believe in our mission statement. As a U.S. Army veteran who served two tours in Iraq, I have always been a person who feels a great sense of service to others. So, the idea of helping reduce and prevent crime for the greater benefit of our community, and in a larger sense our society, was something that really resonated with me during my interviews.

What do you think is the most necessary quality for someone to do this job?

Anyone that works as an Operations Specialist at Knightscope should possess the ability to adapt. The Operations Specialist wears many hats. One week we may be deploying our Autonomous Data Machines in a live environment and the next week we are providing remote technical support to a client or even building robots. In our position, you need to, operationally, understand all aspects of the robots from software and hardware to client facing.

What is the most exciting thing about your job?

When I started working for Knightscope, I had no idea that robots actually existed, much less being sold commercially. Now that I have been with the company for almost a year, it is pretty insane that robots are so normal to me now, but at the same time have not lost their luster or shine. I never could have imagined as a kid that I would be working directly with robots or that they would become such a routine part of my life and it is exciting because I cannot wait to bring that feeling to the general public.

How about customers? What their normal reaction when they see a machine?

The normal reaction is disbelief. The client normally turns into a wide-eyed child. There is a great deal of excitement when they find out that it is moving completely on its own.

What is the most difficult thing you have had to do in this job?

The most difficult aspect of this job is also the most rewarding. In the Operations Specialist role, because we wear so many different hats, it can be difficult to become proficient in one particular area. It takes time to start to understand each aspect of our role, but as a result, things start to come together, and you have a broader understanding of everything that is going on at the company.

Any funny situation that you remember?

Recently, I deployed a robot at the nation’s largest casino, and many of the casino patrons thought that our robot was a slot machine and proceeded to try and insert their money!

Your most memorable day at work?

My most memorable day working for Knightscope was when I deployed my first robot in a live environment. It is rewarding to see the faces of our clients once they finally see the robot patrolling autonomously.

Do you have any hobbies?

Yes. I am a huge video game player and collector. I have 15 consoles and over 3,000 games that I have accumulated and played since childhood.

Wow, Richie, you are quite the collector!

Knightscope is poised to scale nationwide across all 50 states and star employees like Richie are part of why our customers are raving not only about our robots but also our top notch customer service.

To find out more about Knightscope and how we can help your security strategy, feel free request a demo here and hopefully you’ll get a chance to meet our stellar operations team – and we will have the honor to serve you!

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Knightscope Patrols Commercial Real Estate;

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Today’s property managers face the possible threat of random shootings, trespassers frequenting their locations, vandalism and break-ins. Their respective tenants look to them to make safety a priority.

Often these managers turn to security cameras as a low-cost solution to address these issues and/or a human security guard. Security cameras don’t necessarily deter negative behavior, only record video as the sole data point, and typically is only viewed after the fact. Humans, well, aren’t always 100% reliable (you can read about that here).

This is where Knightscope technology rolls in with our Autonomous Data Machines (ADMs) to provide property managers with an actual physical deterrence, ability to detect more than a human could ever possibly could and report in real-time what is happening or has happened — consistently 24 hours a day, 7 days a week including autonomous recharging without human intervention. That includes multi-level parking structures, at night, in the rain traversing around people, cars and trucks.

High-definition video footage is captured and 360-degree eye-level live streaming is available when needed (i.e., this means we do not do human bald spot detection with unusable and irrelevant video which is so common with fixed cameras placed above). The machines can detect people, read license plates, and run a thermal scan. Our live and custom broadcast public address feature empowers managers to inform unwanted visitors regarding the consequences of trespassing at their facility.

We hear from property managers that they are already experiencing the benefits of deploying Knightscope security robots. From eliminating vehicle break-ins to stopping bikes from being stolen or even eliminating trespassers — property managers are realizing a real return-on-investment.

Tenants, visitors and vendors are all very grateful. Request your private demo here and let us show you how we can help better secure your facilities and reduce your costs. #securityrobot

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Top 10 Things Security Robots Will Not Do;

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While there are limits to autonomous security robot capabilities today, at times it seems there are no limits to the bad choices that humans can make. Here are a few examples of poor decisions that you do NOT have to worry about with your security robot…but you may need to worry with your human security guard (!)

1. Entering the office of a tenant (who happened to be a boxing champion), without authorization. Stripping down to his undershorts, taking the tenant’s World Title Belt from its trophy case, and wearing it for a solo shadow boxing session… and being caught in the act on the surveillance cameras. #champion

2. Taking a nap (at work) in an empty trailer at a warehouse, only to be locked in the trailer and transported to a logistics facility in another state. #teleporting

3. Destroying a brand new concrete plaza with hot oil, which spilled from the (prohibited) turkey fryer that an employee brought to work so that he could have a private “cookout”. #thanksgiving

4. Opening the private, secured garage of an office building and charging for public parking for a nearby weekend event, without permission, and pocketing the cash (again, on camera). #sidegig

5. Texting while driving, and bouncing the patrol truck off of three luxury sedans. #itcanwait

6. Wearing two samurai swords and carrying num-chuks to work because the “No Firearms” policy did not explicitly extend to weapons of martial arts. #ninja

7. Opting for a black spandex body suit in lieu of the standard-issue uniform, for fashion reasons. #trendy

8. Microwaving fish in the break room (repeatedly, despite signage and complaints). #ironchef

9. Getting into an entirely avoidable fight at work… with a skunk… and losing. #aroma

10. “Booting” improperly parked vehicles, demanding payment of an unofficial “fine”, and pocketing the cash. #capitalism

It is likely these prized human episodes would not have occurred if a security guard was teamed up with a security robot as part of the Knightscope SOFTWARE + HARDWARE + HUMANS strategy. So next time you decide to entrust the security of your facility to a human guard, might we suggest a Knightscope security robot accompany them on the mission?

P.S. The above are actual examples from our teammates (i.e., unnamed sources) that have years of experience in physical security. Names have been withheld to protect the humans. Request a private #securityrobot demo at www.knightscope.com and let’s see how we can work #together!

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