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How To Train Your Security Robot;

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When you partner with Knightscope for an Autonomous Security Robot (ASR) deployment, you also gain a deployment specialist, a 24/7/365 robot health and monitoring team we call the Knightscope Network Operations Center (KNOC), and a Client Experience (CX) team.

Each one of these play a significant role in ensuring the success of the deployment, and the CX team is your primary point of contact for all operational matters.  They can configure patrol schedules, set up alert thresholds, build alert protocols, customize triggers for the broadcast messages – by people detection, location, time or random – and even help create Persons of Interest (POI) profiles or Be On The Lookout (BOLO).  But most importantly we also empower clients to do all of this through your very own Knightscope Security Operations Center (KSOC) web-based user-interface account!

Configuring Your Patrol Schedule

When your Knightscope deployment specialist arrives at your site, they will begin mapping areas where you foresee the ASR patrolling or providing a static presence to be the greatest benefit to your particular application. They will create a 3-dimensional world of the permanent features of each potential patrol area by mapping readings from the robot’s light detection and ranging (LiDAR) devices. This is a critical phase in the implementation process where you can designate patrol zones or single point patrols (static observation points). You can then control each ASR’s patrol schedule by time of day and day of the week. You can even elect to have each day have a completely different patrol schedule, making it nearly impossible for someone to predict where the robot will patrol next.

The patrol zones are labeled and color coded so you can set the schedule down to thirty (30) minute increments. You can also alter the schedule at any time or on any day from the KSOC. If you have a special event or an incident that you’d like to dedicate the robot’s various detections to, you can send the robot to a specific patrol zone or single point patrol and when it reaches the most ideal location you can “stop patrol” and freeze the robot’s patrolling to gather more real-time, actionable intelligence.

Setting Up Your Alert Thresholds

For a fully loaded ASR, you can have your People Detections set to provide you with alerts via email, text, voice or KSOC alert notifications by time of day and/or by location and with 360-degree video clips, images and map locations. Thus, if there are areas of your deployment site where there should be no people during certain hours or in certain locations, your ASR can be setup to alert you and your team in various ways.

For Thermal Hazards, you can designate which temperatures and/or times of day for temperature anomalies that should be considered alerts. This also applies to blacklisted devices and license plate detections. If your ASR detects a person of interest (POI) or mobile device MAC address, you can receive text, email, phone call or KSOC alert notifications.

Lastly, you can select parking meter thresholds for how long vehicles are allowed to be parked in certain areas. If you have parking structures or lots that prohibit 24-hour parking, your ASR can alert you with license plate numbers, map locations, images and 360-degree HD daylight / lowlight video clips. 

Building Your Alert Escalation Protocol

While your ASR is on patrol deterring crime and unwanted behavior by providing a powerful physical presence, it is communicating real-time alerts based on anything that falls outside of your alert thresholds. It is critical that these alerts go to the right email, text message recipient or telephone number so that the right team members can respond accordingly – or simply an alert on the KSOC itself. Whether it’s a person detected in a secured area, a thermal anomaly, a parking meter violation or a POI detected, the right team member will be alerted with the right information at the right time.

Designating Your Automatic Broadcast Messages Upon People Detection or Location

Your ASR has the capability of providing real-time automatic, pre-recorded and pre-defined broadcast messages using a male or female voice based on time of day and / or based on the location the individual or individuals were detected. These messages can range from “I’m a security robot, nice to see you here,” to “the authorities have been notified of your presence,” or to anything you’d like the robot to broadcast based on the detection.  Sometimes even in different languages.

Implementing Parking Enforcement Thresholds

Whether it’s a non-24-hour parking garage or an electric vehicle charge station with a 4-hour limit, your ASR can not only track how long each vehicle has been parked in each parking space, but it can alert you or your team members to any vehicles that are in violation of various parking restrictions. Your team gains an entirely new layer of parking enforcement and investigative capability.

Creating Persons of Interest (POI) Profiles

The number one cause of workplace violence is domestic violence spilling over into the workplace, and the cornerstone to a solid Workplace Violence Prevention (WVP) plan is early detection.  You may at any time add new threats to your deployment for the ASR to “Be on Lookout” for, including domestic abusers, disgruntled former employees, a problematic individual or a suspicious person.

Your ASR can detect and deliver alerts for anyone that you’ve added to your KSOC account list using license plates or MAC addresses from mobile devices that you or your team have blacklisted. Your ASR, via the KSOC, will alert you with headshots of the POI’s (if you loaded them) as well as the reason(s) why that person was blacklisted to better assess the level of threat.

Now that you’ve learned How to Train Your Security Robot, let’s set up a meeting so we can begin addressing any issues you may be facing today. Looking forward to chatting with you about all things ASR soon!

 

 

 

 

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Posted in Blog

Why Autonomous Security Robots are Industry Agnostic;

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“So tell me, what specific industries are your robots designed for?” That’s a common question we hear from prospective adopters and investors of our Autonomous Security Robots (ASRs).  Logically, there are benefits to utilizing products and services designed and engineered for a specific industry.  However, that was not our strategy from the outset.  Our goal is to help every organization, every security professional, every police officer, in nearly any environment, property or facility, to be able to deter and detect criminal activity more effectively and, thus, make the United States of America the safest country in the world. While we have a lot of work to do, the great news is that the opportunities are omnipresent!

For argument’s sake, let’s take a look at casinos and children’s hospitals – two very, very different industries in which we are currently experiencing great growth.  It’s extremely important to protect the safety of visitors and employees in both environments without negatively affecting the overall experience they have while on site.

Just like most other businesses in most other industries, there’s a small percentage of people whose intent is to commit a crime or be disruptive to the other 99% or so.  Let’s pause here for a moment to think about this: attract the people you need at your business, repel criminals.  Can you think of a business or place where this basic need doesn’t apply?  Sports arenas, retail centers, schools, universities, banks, office buildings, corporate campuses, hotels, public parks, theme parks, movie theaters, apartment complexes, public transit, warehouses, distribution centers, and the list goes on and on, including hospitals and casinos.

Time and again we’ve seen firsthand, not only how our robots attract people in a positive way, but also the phenomenal impact they have in deterring criminal activity.  Here are three examples of the latter:

  • ·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 Autonomous Security Robot 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.

All three clients in the above referenced cases did not alter or enhance their physical security in any other way during this time. What’s additionally impressive about the hospital and public park is that they are open access properties, 24/7, meaning there aren’t perimeter gates and fences that are closed or locked to limit access or secure it after hours.  Anyone can drive or walk onto the properties at any time from all directions.

It’s hard to imagine that there’s an organization on the planet dealing with the threat of criminal activity on their premises that doesn’t yearn for similar results. These are eye-opening statistics that should get the attention of any organization’s C-Suite.

There’s an interesting fact about our ASRs that further points to being industry agnostic: over 60% of them currently deployed are being used to secure a parking lot or parking structure, either exclusively or in addition to other areas of a client’s property. Why the high percentage? It’s a common area for crime that directly impacts visitors and employees. But due to their size and physical layout, it can be difficult and costly to secure them consistently.

Our clients have not only found the ASRs effective, but cost efficient, too. So, as you read through this list again, is there even one that would likely have crime-free parking areas? Sports arenas, retail centers, schools, universities, banks, office buildings, corporate campuses, hotels, public parks, theme parks, movie theaters, apartment complexes, public transit, warehouses, distribution centers.

Looking beyond casinos and hospitals, our client list is also evidence of our broad appeal across many industries. If you take a look at our website’s main homepage and our gallery section, you’ll see clients from an assortment of industries.  We assure you this is not on purpose, but a reflection of our ASRs’ appeal to different companies, big and small, in different industries, who are committed to providing the safest environment possible for their visitors, tenants, vendors, students and employees.

So perhaps the real question is, “What industries are not a fit for our robots?” It’s difficult to come up with one.  Well, for the sake of being modest we’ll list space exploration as one … for now.

 

 

 

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Posted in Blog

Cuffed and Stuffed;

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It is not uncommon for law enforcement and security teams to avail themselves of new technologies in an effort to gain the upper hand against crime.  When such tools are adopted, it is natural to seek media attention to share how forward-thinking your organization is with its advanced new tech – especially something as cool as a fully autonomous security robot.  On the surface, this is a great way to share how we are safeguarding and protecting our citizens, employees, students and visitors, but it also invites the unsavory element to contemplate how to defeat these security measures.

Knightscope is no stranger to those that enjoy becoming the example for the rest of society.  Since we began deploying our robots across the United States in 2015, we have assisted numerous law enforcement agencies with the rock-solid evidence needed to strengthen case files and affidavits, ultimately providing judges with the evidentiary foundation necessary to issue arrest warrants.

You see, we love what we do here at Knightscope, and we take great pride in supporting our clients.  Our team is made up of some of the brightest and most talented engineers, former military personnel specializing in intelligence gathering, former law enforcement officers and investigators.  Needless to say, when our clients call on us to assist them, we have a crack team ready, willing and able to help “cuff and stuff” the alleged bad guys.

You may recall one of our very first incidents in which an inebriated individual stumbled onto Knightscope’s property and assaulted one of our robots.  The robot was unhappy being a victim and was undeterred from immediately sounding alarms and reporting the incident to our Knightscope Network Operations Center (KNOC) team.  The subject was caught on site and detained by our very own EVP and Chief Client Officer (a former police officer himself) until the Mountain View Police arrived to provide room and board for the night.  Since then, there have been many others, from grown adults to teenagers, who have tempted fate only to later find themselves in the same rent-free accommodations (i.e., jail).

In September 2018, an individual drove onto the property of a client in Washington where a diligent Knightscope K5 was patrolling.  The suspect made his way over to the robot, looked it over, drove around the parking lot and then proceeded to use his vehicle to ram the robot.  He then burglarized two buildings.  100% of the evidence in this case was gathered by the robot and provided to police, and later the prosecutor’s office.  The case was finally adjudicated in December 2019 with the accused pleading guilty to three felonies.  Law enforcement investigators are always seeking out the “smoking gun” that proves beyond a shadow of doubt that this is the person that committed the crime.  And according to the District Attorney’s office, this was a slam-dunk case as a result.

Another compelling case occurred in 2019 and has come to be known as our “New Year’s Knuckle Heads.”  Two gentlemen meandered onto our client’s property where, you guessed it, another K5 was patrolling.  The two suspects in this instance were wearing long sleeves and hooded sweatshirts in an attempt to conceal their identities, but there is nothing foolproof in forensics and criminals always unknowingly leave behind a key piece of evidence.  During this investigation, a very distinct tattoo was observed on one of the subjects’ hands.  Police were able to use this as a form of “fingerprint” to identify the individual, and from that, the two subjects were subsequently located, apprehended and held financially responsible for the damage that they caused.

These are just a few of the many documented incidents we have encountered and aided in prosecution.  Security technology needs to work for the end user and quickly provide the information needed to deter crime.  As these examples highlight, the success of the technology also comes from the ability to recall, document and deliver forensic data to the prosecutors charged with holding the offenders accountable for their actions.

Take a lesson here, when you encounter a Knightscope robot feel free to say hello, take selfies/videos and enjoy the experience.  But if you are there to cause trouble, the chips are stacked against you.  As we always say in Law Enforcement, “you can run, but you will only go to jail tired.”

It is likely that messing with a security robot is a felony and we have all the evidence to prosecute to the fullest extent of the law.  We have and we will.

As you know, it is not a good idea to assault a police officer, mess with a law enforcement vehicle, or confront a security guard.  It is also not a good idea to mess with an Autonomous Security Robot.  It is there to help secure the places you work, study and visit so be nice to the robots!

P.S. LATEST UPDATE:

In February of 2020 Knightscope team members assisted a local municipal police department in identifying an individual suspected of vandalizing their K5 robot. As we have stated before in this article, it is not wise to mess with the robot; let alone one that is used by the police! Knightscope’s dedicated team received an alert from the robot and quickly identified that the individual attempted to damage the cameras on the robot. Although they were successful in causing damage, there was still plenty of great evidence for the police department. With the help of Knightscope, the police department notified our team that within 9 days of the incident the suspect had been identified, arrested and charged with one count of felony vandalism. He is still sitting in jail currently.

P.P.S. AND ANOTHER UPDATE:

In one of the above referenced cases, the presiding judge ordered restitution be paid to Knightscope in the amount of $21,968.56 as part of the defendant’s sentencing. The Court Clerk’s Office will be monitoring the defendant to ensure that he satisfies the obligation. If not, further charges may be applied. OUCH! It’s just not worth the risk. As we said before, we will prosecute to the fullest extent of the law.

 

 

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Posted in Blog

1 MILLION HOURS!;

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Today we are pleased to announce that Knightscope’s ASRs have reached over 1 million hours of operation!

6 years ago there were no Autonomous Security Robots (ASRs) roaming around across the country operating 24/7/365 – and now we’ve reached this tremendous milestone.

That 1 million hours is not digital simulation time.  It is not testing time in a laboratory.  It is not staging work outdoors.  It is real world Level 5 autonomy with no human intervention at real clients generating real revenue.  THIS IS NOT A TEST!

Here is a bit of the back story on how we reached this milestone.

If you haven’t figured it out yet – what we are doing at Knightscope is extremely difficult and execution intensive.  Mechanical, electrical, firmware, software, telecommunication, video, audio, data storage, data processing, algorithms, batteries, charging – oh and it needs to operate on its own, autonomously – in the rain, at night, with people, cars, trucks – with a client down your throat 24/7!

Actually there have been numerous properly funded attempts, including a major corporation, to attempt to do it and pretty much have all gone out of business or given up.  That certainly speaks to the difficulty level.

At first, we were so excited to get a machine to move by itself indoors under controlled conditions.  Then we got brave and put one outside our headquarters here in Silicon Valley during the daytime.  But then we wanted to run 24/7 so we left one outside – and we would pull all-nighters sleeping at the office to keep an eye on it!

Then we got our first contract for a pilot test and on May 4, 2015 (yes, May the Fourth Be With You!) we started the deployment at a local mall.  We were confined to the upper level of a parking structure – and, yes, we slept in the K-Team Van overnight keeping an eye on it.

 

Eventually the client felt more comfortable and we got the OK to patrol for real, during the day and all around the mall.  Unsupervised.  What a win for the team! And what a massive amount of incoming workload!

We initially decided to stay in Northern California for all deployments as our engineers had to do all the driving around to inspect, fix, retouch, reflash, fix, or otherwise overhaul the whole thing.

Then one day, we pulled the band aid off, and set course to Southern California – and started leaving machines there unsupervised with us hours away.  Oh…..the level of anxiety and excitement!

Now we have a team that monitors the health of our machines-in-network across the country, down to the millisecond.  To perhaps help better understand the challenge, imagine if you drove your car 24/7 non-stop for an entire month straight?  Might need some service and maintenance?

Knightscope Autonomous Security Robots have been running for over 1 Million hours, that is about 7,500 trips to the moon and back! There has been a lot of hard work to get here and we are eternally thankful to our 7,000+ investors – without you this milestone could not have been reached.

Now to tackle the next million!

 

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Posted in Blog

What Happened in Huntington Park?;

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PHOTO: Salt Lake Park in the City of Huntington Park, California

 

The Huntington Park Police Department deployed the Knightscope K5 robot in June 2019 in the City’s largest park, Salt Lake Park.  It’s a 23-acre park with a recreation center, gymnasium, 4 outdoor basketball courts, a soccer field, 4 baseball diamonds, 5 tennis courts, and picnic areas.  There are several community programs held here including an After-School Program, Tiny Tots, and Seniors Program.  The City also holds several large events at Salt Lake throughout the year, along with a weekly Farmer’s Market.

The City had been hearing concerns from the community about public safety in the park and was searching for innovative ways to address the problems.  The Knightscope K5 Robot’s autonomous patrolling and alert features were a perfect fit to support the Police Department remotely and deliver real-time situational awareness via 360-degree HD video and audio, with two-way communication.

 

PHOTO CREDIT: City of Huntington Park Instagram Account

 

In addition to deterring criminal behavior, HP RoboCop (the name given to the K5 by the City) provides a community service during the park’s open hours, broadcasting messages and greetings in both English and Spanish, while serving as an attraction to park goers.  In the event of an emergency, the community can also immediately reach the Police Department’s dispatchers, utilizing the robot’s assist button. The City has received many positive comments from the public, expressing their appreciation for HP RoboCop’s presence and the positive impact.

The following is the analysis the Police Department submitted to the City Council:

K5 Autonomous Security Robot Data Analysis

In reviewing several months of relevant activity statistics, ranging from crimes in progress to residents requesting assistance through the K5 robot Alert Button, to police personnel self-initiated activity, the following was observed:

Between June and December of 2018, a period of time when the K5 robot was not deployed at Salt Lake Park, the Huntington Park Police Department registered 277 entries of police activity at Salt Lake Park, whether this activity was initiated by a park patron or self-initiated by an officer or other police personnel.  Inclusive of this police activity is the following:

  • 48 crime or incident reports

  • 11 arrests

  • 120 citations issued

The above data was compared to a like time period, one year later, June to December of 2019, while the K-5 robot was deployed and operating at full capacity.  During this time period the level of police activity at Salt Lake Park diminished to 249 recorded entries, which included:

  • 26 crime or incident reports

  • 14 arrests

  • 38 citations issued

In analyzing the provided data, it can be surmised that the K5 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

 

 

 

Posted in Blog

The Worst Idea in Security… and Why You Should Adopt It!;

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Physical security is something many businesses don’t want to think about – it’s a necessary evil that does not generate revenue, is typically not very brand enhancing and it costs a great deal of money.  And sadly, these days it seems as though there is a greater emphasis being placed on securing data than people.

But physical security is your job, and you need to negotiate that fine line between being effective (i.e., getting results!) and managing costs.  You set out to devise a plan utilizing any and all available resources to provide a secure place for people to work, study or visit.  You look at every aspect of deterrence, access control, detection and identification. You evaluate the roles and responsibilities of manned guards and technologies and carefully weave them together to present a balanced and effective approach to solving your specific security challenges.  Now it’s time to present your plan to your corporate leadership team.

You walk into the meeting and begin to share the results of your countless hours of research and education on the latest and greatest in protection.  You explain that your plan will take months to implement and will require involvement from almost every functional aspect of the company.  The Security team will need to accept and commit to using new tools.  The attorneys will scrutinize the agreements like never before going through dozens of cartridges of red ink.  The operations/facilities folks will want to know every volt and amperage of electrical needs expected, where to mount hardware, and how it will impact traffic patterns.  Human resources will have to manage how employees feel about their privacy and the Orwellian fear of “being watched.”  Communications/PR will have to preemptively develop strategies for dealing with media, employee and visitor questions.  IT will surface inquiring about firewalls, open ports, data transfer rates, backhaul, encryption, and hackers.  Marketing will engage their entire team to ensure brand compliance with colors and logos and argue over moving one or two pixels left or right.  And the finance wizards scrutinize every penny this will cost, how to categorize a new subscription-based model and how it fits into the allocated budget, and then engage your insurance carriers to seek coverage for something the likes of which they’ve never heard.

So, what triggers all of this madness?  You go on to explain that you are going to implement self-driving (autonomous) security robots and that these robots will drive around your campus without any human intervention as part of the overall security mission to deter, detect, delay and deny.  The robots will provide unprecedented levels of data and actionable intelligence to allow the Security team to make smarter, safer and faster decisions.  You will not be responsible for servicing or maintaining the daily operating capabilities of the robots because that is included in the service.  You will be able to access information and analytics form anywhere in the world where you have access to the Internet, a Chrome browser and your user credentials.  And you will have the 24/7/365 support of a live human being if ever there is a need for assistance.

The uproar ensues until finally someone boldly asks, “Is anyone else using this and, if so, what kind of results are they seeing?”  This is the question you’ve been waiting for.  You remind the group that security and public safety is all ensuring and preserving our fundamental right to peace of mind.  No clearer was this ever stated than by the Honorable John Farnsworth when arguing the Reconstruction Act of 1867:

“The first duty of the Government is to afford protection to its citizens.”

Rep. John F. Farnsworth, 39th US Congress, 1867

 

And one of the first city governments to adopt this technology with that in mind was the City of Huntington Park, CA.  The City was experiencing a heightened level of activities ranging from crimes in progress to residents requesting assistance, to police personnel self-initiated investigations in Salt Lake Park.

Between June and December 2018, the Huntington Park Police Department registered 277 entries of police activity, a period during which no robot 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 autonomous security robot 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 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

These kinds of numbers are simply incredible and rarely (if ever) seen in even the most sophisticated of CompStat briefings.  While it may seem like an arduous task and maybe even too futuristic on the surface, you conclude your presentation by recommending the immediate adoption of this amazing new tool in crime fighting.  And to put an exclamation point on it, you keenly opine that it would be completely irresponsible with the facts in data provided to deny your people with every level of protection these security robots bring.

 

 

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Posted in Blog

Don’t Ever Give Up!;

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Photo (clockwise): Knightscope CEO, William Santana Li with Plug and Play Tech Center CEO, Saeed Amidi, original K5 sketch, Aaron Lehnhardt (EVP and Chief Design Officer), Mercedes Soria (EVP and Chief Intelligence Officer) and Stacy Dean Stephens (EVP and Chief Client Officer)

“Long, long ago in galaxy far, far away….” 🙂

We had incorporated Knightscope, Inc. on April 4, 2013 and back then we had literally nothing (or maybe less). A naive pitch deck, a rough sketch and no office, no products, no technology, no clients, no revenue, no capital, inability to run payroll – just us, a lot of hope, and determination.

We started off in a co-working / co-living space at the time that was literally a house called Silicon House in Mountain View, California in the heart of Silicon Valley. Nothing like starting a company in house filled of crazy entrepreneurs from all around the world.

Then we migrated for a month to Club Auto Sport in San Jose, CA (of course, on the personal credit card) – we had 1 desk for all of us to share (kinda ridiculous). But at least we got to start building stuff…most of it pretty embarrassing but had to start somewhere.

We kept getting asked to apply to an accelerator and kept getting turned down but finally got into batch #1 for insurtech at the Plug and Play Tech Center in Sunnyvale, CA in October of that year. By December we had built the most miserable and laughable prototype you have ever seen – but we won demo day, the press picked it up and finally the capital started coming in. And, yes, since we are sharing, here is the 3 minute pitch from that day (gulp).

 

And it was a rough start. Took us 364 days to close the seed round – no one wanted to write a check because “you guys are crazy”, “will never work”, “hardware + software…too complicated….you should pick one” and “physical security is not an investment thesis” (insert rolling eyes here). But we ignored everyone, did what we had to do to move forward, and very happy we did!

Now 6+ years later, despite billions being invested in self-driving technology with dozens of companies working on it, we believe Knightscope is literally the only company in the world operating 24/7/365 across an entire nation fully autonomous without human intervention – with real clients generating real revenue and operating in the real world (not a science fiction R&D project).

We are backed by over 6,000 investors and 4 major corporations and have raised over $40 million and now raising a fresh $50 million of growth capital in our Reg A+ IPO to scale the business to profitability. And we have a bunch of crime-fighting wins under our collective belts!

Plus we hold contracts in 15 states across 4 time zones, accepted into the Verizon 5G Lab, landed our first 2 police departments and municipalities as clients, signed contracts with a movie chain and a defense contractor – and we count 10 of the Fortune 1000 a clients of Knightscope. We were highlighted on the Today Show amongst numerous other media outlets, have a 7 figure backlog of orders, and one our clients tripled the amount of machines at 1 location to 6 security robots – all while our client with 9 machines in 5 locations across 3 states renewed their contract.

Some days we wake up and think what the heck is taking soooooo long. And yet other days, it’s wondering how the heck we got all this done with (relatively speaking for the size of the effort) a modest amount of capital and minimal resources.

Bottom line, don’t ever give up – ignore the naysayers and keep pushing forward, no matter how hard, how painful, how unpopular or how much you are told ‘no’. If you know you are right long-term, and especially if you can make a positive and meaningful impact on society, then just force your vision to become a reality – be relentless and make it all happen. Onward and upward!

More blogs…

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Why Did You Build Knightscope?

Who are Knightscope’s Investors?

Top 5 Mistakes When Hiring Security Robots

CEO’s Top 7 Reasons to Invest in Knightscope

What the Heck is a Reg A+?

 

Posted in Blog

2019 Knightscope Highlights;

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It was another busy year!  Despite the headwinds in scaling up any business (memo: 95%+ of startups fail) we made a lot of progress and kept pushing forward while ignoring the naysayers. We are beyond excited for the numerous items we have brewing for 2020 but before we get to working on those initiatives, we wanted to reflect on 2019 with you!

  • Backlog – for the first time in Company history we ended up with a seven-figure backlog of signed contracts which is, as they say, a “good problem” to have on hand (but, still a problem)

  • Nationwide TV – we’ve been lucky to be covered by the media extensively but was cool to be highlighted by the Today Show

  • Law Enforcement – we were able to deploy at our first 2 police departments (and our first 2 municipalities as well); only 19,000+ more to go!

  • VWD – completed our first alpha prototype of Visible Weapon Detection

  • Face Recannounced our beta release of facial recognition

  • New Verticals – we signed our first movie theater chain as well as our first aerospace/defense contractor

  • Reg A+ IPO – got qualified by the U.S. SEC for our Reg A+ IPO which is now underway; this is an opportunity to buy shares ahead of a possible public listing; learn more here  

  • Healthcare – we are now operating across 3 hospitals 24/7/365

  • Major Renewal – humbled by the opportunity to renew a major corporation with 9 machines across 5 location and 3 states

  • Triple! – one of our clients tripled its security robot team from two (2) to six (6) machines. The expansion makes this our largest deployment of security robots at a single location to date.

  • Verizon 5G – Knightscope was accepted into the Verizon 5G Lab and we are working together on technologies for first responders

There was a lot more that happened behind-the-scenes and we are invigorated to get going on 2020. And to start things off with you, here’s an opportunity to learn more about Knightscope for those considering buying shares for the first time or investing again:

UPCOMING INVESTOR ROADSHOW WEBINAR

  • Thu 16 Jan at 1pm PST / 4pm EST

  • Knightscope CEO in the hot seat answering rapid fire questions including how to invest in the Reg A+ IPO offering

  • Live streaming from Knightscope Headquarters (KHQ) in Mountain View, California in the heart of Silicon Valley

  • RSVP required (click here)

 

More blogs…

Why Did You Build Knightscope?

Who are Knightscope’s Investors?

Top 5 Mistakes When Hiring Security Robots

CEO’s Top 7 Reasons to Invest in Knightscope

What the Heck is a Reg A+?

Top 10 Reasons Proud Ventures Invested in Knightscope

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How To Make Things Look Up!;

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Photo: K5 4th Generation K5 Outdoor Security Robot, Stacy Dean Stephens (EVP and Chief Client Officer), Mercedes Soria (seated, EVP and Chief Intelligence Officer), William Santana Li (Chairman and CEO), Aaron Lehnhardt (EVP and Chief Design Officer), K1 Stationary ADM.

 

This one goes out to all the Founders and founding teams out there – those who’ve been there and done that, and those contemplating going there to do that!  For those that have, I know you’ll likely relate.  To those that have not yet, (i.e., normal people with normal lives so far) – it will in many ways be shocking to hear what Founders go through.  Several ‘normal people’ have exclaimed to me “I don’t know how you do it.”  It takes a bit of a slightly “not all there”/ “screw loose” / “two cubes short of an ice tray” type of person to want to build and run a startup.

The amount of pressure startup CEOs go through is immense and very few can really relate unless you have been through Hell and back yourself – and even more so when you’ve done it a few times over.  It will drain you mentally, physically, emotional and psychologically for an extended period of time with continuous pain and suffering.  Putting in 80 to 100-hour weeks continuously is not what normal people do, but it is what Founders end up doing … including me.

A couple of doctors told me that I had the adrenalin profile of a soldier coming back from a theater of war.  I would never dare compare us Founders to our brave women and men in uniform – frankly, most of us wouldn’t make it through the first day of training much less real combat.  But you get the picture.

I thought for the Founders going through the grind now, and the would-be Founders wondering what lies ahead, that sharing a few things I do to get through it all could be helpful.  Or as my Veteran friends like to say, “Embrace the Suck” (i.e., the situation is bad, but deal with it).  I also thought some of my Knightscope teammates would benefit – as they are in the grind day in and day out as well – literally 24/7/365!

1. Negative Fuel – every day you are told “no,” “not right now,” “you are wrong,” “you will never make it,” “what you are doing is impossible,” or worse, the trolls get out their keyboards and start writing patently false and unfair dissertations about you and your company.  Read it. Absorb it. Then turn it around. The more you are told “no,” the more fired up you need to get to prove them wrong – no matter what it takes.  If you really believe in what you are doing, then taking a multi-decade approach should not be a problem.  In the end, you will ‘force the win’ to happen.

2. Disregard – at times you must make decisions that no one supports. Not your team, not your family, not your friends – it may be a new product, a strategic path, an investor, a recruit, etc. Sometimes you just need to conduct a serious gut check, disregard all the input, make your decision and stick with it.  You may bump your head, but you may also be rewarded with one of the greatest liberating feelings: being right when everyone else was wrong.  Just be careful when and how often you decide to pull this one – it should not be an everyday occurrence!

3. Recruit – nothing like having new blood on the team!  Fresh attitudes, fresh perspectives and a craving to learn help to reinvigorate us all and can change the dynamic big time.  But you can’t just recruit anybody – it has to be the ones that will put in the hours and work hard with a smile on their face, a great attitude and understands the need to lift up their teammates.  Don’t just hire a warm body to fill a role – you will fail.

4. Watch – ok, I confess, when I’m watching a movie, a TV show or anything, I’m pretty much always watching from an angle of “what can I learn here that will help Knightscope?”  I guess that is why my wife calls me “possessed.”  So even while being a couch potato (during those last three minutes of my day), I can still be moving the ball!  As many of you know ‘taking time off,’ even for something so mundane as a TV show, is filled with so much guilt as you are always thinking “why am I goofing off when I could be helping my team?”  The compromise is this: when I end watching cop shows, military stuff, science fiction movies, political drama, etc., I look for that moment of tactical learning, a new visual treatment of something from a design standpoint, or just pure inspiration.  “If those officers or soldiers can get up and do that every day for the country, the least I can do is stop sulking and go fight the good fight – and get back in the ring.”

5. Connect the Dots – sit back and look at your entire organization.  Department X is complaining about this, Department Y can’t get something done, and Department Z is off driving in a different direction.  Sit back, find some strategic common thread that in one fell swoop, integrates and addresses all the problems and opportunities (i.e., do your job as a leader).  No one needs to know, except you, what you did – but the reward can be fulfilling.

6. Exercise – this one is hard for a lot of us, but the payoff is immense.  Exercise clears your head, gives you energy, and helps you sleep (I struggle with the latter – way too many meetings in my head all night long). There is just isn’t enough time.  So, my wife forced me to take swimming lessons (haven’t drowned yet, but sure felt close!) and now I’ve temporarily deleted my car – to force me to walk back and forth to work.  We’ll see how long that lasts!  Besides, being an ex-automotive executive, the lineup of vehicles out there is depressing to say the least.  I haven’t seen anything particularly inspiring that I’m really excited about, so I might as well lose some weight while I decide on the next buggy.

7. Plane – get on an aircraft and get out of town.  You’ll meet new investors, new clients, new potential recruits, and new connections that can turn things around for you for the better.  Plus, the change in scenery can help clear your head or inspire a new idea. This works – but be careful with too much travel as can have the opposite effect.

8. Music – find that 8-track tape or cassette (just kidding) that got you through the hardest times of your life, or the one that brings back great memories and blast it on volume eleven!  When I was at Carnegie Mellon, I coded (in Pascal, oh my) for a final exam.  I completed the 3-hour exam while blasting Metallica.  Good times! Or that time, my teammate convinced me to bring my guitar to a business interview to finish off the program.

9. Toxins – yes, put down the fries and burger (this is difficult for me) and get a bunch of green juices going for the week, slow down the coffee and switch to tea for a while, and maybe not hang out with that person you might care about but seems to always bring you down.  All hard stuff to do sometimes but you just have to do it.

10. Cook – this one is a recent one for me… just stop for an hour and cook something.  You’ll be so focused on timing stuff right and not burning down the house that it will help clear your mind.  Then there is the satisfaction of completing something in a short period of time and (hopefully) enjoying the fruits of your labor, which most Founders can relate to intimately!

One of my best friends calls me the “no door guy.”  He says normal people – when they see an open door, a closed door, and a small door – will seek the path of least resistance and go through the easy, open door even though they know they likely won’t get what they set out to do.  The way he sees it, none of the 3 choices is acceptable to me, so I have to create a door where there is no door!

As funny as that might sound, I fear that short-term focused investors have indirectly trained Founders to focus on easy problems that are simple to solve.  We are Americans and we need to focus our efforts on what is right and what is difficult but must be addressed – not what is easy and in fashion.  And if the traditional investors don’t like it, tough.  Move on without them and create your own door.

If you choose that path, know that it will be difficult and painful with lots of suffering.  But the victory will be so much sweeter in the end!

These are some of things that have helped me get through the worst of times and hopefully maybe a couple will help you through your own startup Hell.  But remember, no matter what – no matter how hard it gets, no matter how difficult, no matter how much it hurts – never ever give up.  Be relentless – and force things to look up – you have the power to do it! – Bill

More blogs…

Why Did You Build Knightscope?

Who are Knightscope’s Investors?

Top 5 Mistakes When Hiring Security Robots

CEO’s Top 7 Reasons to Invest in Knightscope

What the Heck is a Reg A+?

Top 10 Reasons Proud Ventures Invested in Knightscope

Posted in Blog

CEO’s Top 7 Reasons to Invest in Knightscope;

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Investors assessing the opportunity to buy shares in Knightscope always have a good amount of questions – especially now that practically anyone can invest in our Reg A+ IPO.  They do their homework, comb through every available document, ask more questions and perhaps then rinse & repeat!  But sometimes it is good for the CEO to offer a slightly different perspective.

So that is what I’m going to share here – the reasons why I personally think you should consider investing from my vantage point as the CEO of Knightscope.  Of course, the decision is all yours after having considered everything – but these are hopefully more than just my 2 cents.

To put help put things in context you can also read “Why Did You Build Knightscope?” here so you have both my personal and professional motivations in clear sight.

1.     Massive Unaddressed Market – over $500 billion is spent annually on security across the globe in both the private and public sectors and it is likely that $300 billion of that is addressable by our long-term plans.  The security industry is not just large – it is highly fragmented with very little innovation and very little risk capital going into the industry to affect positive, meaningful change.  In my view, it is one of those ‘sleepy sectors’ ripe for disruption and starving for innovation.

2.     Recurring Revenue for a Recurring Need – sometimes investors worry, “will the market for your product collapse?”  Are sedans, coupes or station wagons in this year?  Will the flip phone, smart phone or no phone be the new trend?  Are disappearing photos and messages really a thing?  Well, I can assure you the ‘market for crime’ will likely never collapse!  It’s not like 7 billion people on the planet are all going to wake up tomorrow, decide to get along and everything is going to run smoothly with no incidents, no threats, no problems.  What if a company came up with a recurring revenue business model for a recurring societal need?  Well, that is exactly what our Machine-as-a-Service (MaaS) does.  It addresses an important need that society faces on a daily, recurring basis – better securing the places you work, study and visit.

3.     Right Time, Right Place, Different Path – we are based in the heart of Silicon Valley in Mountain View, California and strongly believe that self-driving technology, robotics and artificial intelligence are going to make a profound impact on society in the coming decades.  Although still in their infancies, the technologies have matured just enough to begin to create some real value for society.  But what I find interesting is that over $80 billion has been invested in self-driving technology alone with a couple of hundred companies working on it – but did you arrive today at work or home in a self-driving car?  Not likely.  So, $80 billion goes into 1 sector and nothing comes out?  Well, we’ve taken a different path with a ‘crawl, walk, run’ approach – and I believe Knightscope is literally the only company in the world operating fully autonomous 24/7/365 across an entire country – without human intervention.

4.     We Have Clients – we have 10 of the Fortune 1000 as clients and hold contracts in 15 states across 4 time zones.  We have repeat customers that have renewed their respective annual contracts.  What we are doing is technically extremely difficult.  What I tell other Founders is that it is easy to build a demo, it might be easy to build a prototype, and you might get lucky and sell one or two.  But to get a major corporation to pay you full price, work with you for a year, renew the contract and add more machines – then you’ve got something special!

5.     Profitability on the Horizon – we have 60+ machines under contract.  We should be profitable once we reach around 300 machines-in-network, which is not too far away.  What I ask my team is when we have the additional resources from this financing and can properly staff a marketing, sales, and service team – do we think we can sell at least 6 machines in each of the 50 states?  Yes, that is possible and more than commercially reasonable.

6.     Investment Efficient – we’ve raised over $40 million to build all of the technology we’ve built pretty much from scratch over the last 6 years. Slow and steady growth – and not burning through billions of dollars with growth at all costs.  That is not how to build a proper business and minimize the execution risks – most people don’t realize that hockey stick growth curves look great on a PowerPoint presentation but are an execution nightmare, especially if you are talking about hardware + software.  Most larger investors that have visited Knightscope Headquarters (KHQ) readily admit that their own portfolio companies would have easily blown through several hundred million dollars to get to where are at now.  We are very careful with our investors’ money – and one of the reasons we have folks that continually and repeatedly back our efforts.

7.     “Pre-IPO” – this is an opportunity to buy shares in a promising company before a possible public listing.  The media and the public like to focus on the latest shiny IPO, but some of the real gains can be made prior to a public offering.  For long-term investors, it can also help set a very low-cost basis for the investment while the company is in the public markets.  I wonder how many folks would love to have had the opportunity to invest in Apple, Google, Facebook, Amazon, etc. before they went public?

BONUS: Ok, now it’s time to let the crazy Founder have his moment of dreaming about the future!  Imagine if we are right – what if we could literally make the United States of America the safest country in the world.  Suspend reality for a moment and think about the massive, positive impact on home values, infrastructure, municipal budgets, taxes, insurance rates, school safety, the volatility of financial markets and the viability of a local businesses… and most importantly, the safety of your family.  We can literally change the world, and we have the honor and privilege of working on that challenge every day here at Knightscope…..for love of country.

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If you’d like to learn mor
e and how to buy shares in our Reg A+ IPO click hereWe can accept investors in the U.S. as well as internationally and you may invest from $1,000 minimum to a $10 million maximum completely online. Over 7,000 investors have already done so! Join us and be a force for good.

 

 

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