In an April 3, 2018, press release, XPO Logistics, a global transportation and logistics provider, discussed the results from the first 6 months following its addition of an autonomous security robot to its security team. XPO reports that after contracting with Knightscope in October 2017, the robot has helped reduce the number of parking lot incidents at its Atlanta facility to zero while saving the company $125,000 when compared with its previous security deployment.
The robot, which it named C3-XPO, is a Knightscope K5 model, which “has wide-ranging capabilities that protect personnel, vehicles and the physical facility.” These include low-light cameras that allow a 360-degree view, two terabytes of onboard storage to record and store events, visual and audible deterrent alarms, thermal imaging sensors, and the ability to scan over 300 license plates per minute.
Knightscope notes in an FAQ on its website that by no means will the use of its automated security robots eliminate the need for human security guards. It views the technology as an extension of the reach of existing resources. It seems that XPO has taken that to heart and uses the “robot’s two-way communication system [to allow] the operator at the XPO security command center to communicate with potential threats, without placing human life at risk.”
Readers might remember that the Knightscope K5 has a bit of a storied past. After falling into a water feature last summer, the K5 evoked images less fitting of C3-PO and more like R2-D2 on Dagobah. That incident was in addition to the near 400-pound robot injuring a 16-month-old child and losing a one-sided fight with a drunk, 41-year-old assailant.