No one will ever call me a “techie.” I still have challenges in operating my smartphone, and sometimes out of complete frustration, I feel like I’m smashing it into a wall. But I realize that technology is non-stationary, and I understand the value of encompassing technology. In the security industry, not all new high-tech “inventions” have proven themselves, but embrace of technology is important as it can often improve workflows, increase efficiency and help utilize limited resources.
In today’s fast-paced world, it seems like a newly developed security gadget or software that comes out almost daily. I’ve been around long enough to get used to scanners reading the vehicle license plates. Face recognition, which can identify a known criminal or “violated” person as soon as they enter a premise like a mall, is common. And proximity readers, magnetic card readers, and smart cards with embedded microprocessors are standard in many physical security settings.
Security officers are an expensive necessity
One of the biggest security costs for businesses is human security officers (guards). No one knows for sure, but it is estimated that there are at least 2 million security guards providing guard functions in the United States. Although the average security guard in the United States earns a salary of less than $ 12.00 per hour (some much less), when a company adds the total hours and all associated costs, the overall security officer costs can easily be one of the biggest security costs.
Sophisticated surveillance cameras are commonly placed in prerequisite security, but there is still a need for “human eyes,” and many companies have no real alternative to bill security guards. But recently, several companies have set up Sikkerhedsroboter! Could traditional security officers be replaced by robots that make human security officers of the past?
Security robots are already here!
A number of different security robots have been developed and some are more sophisticated and skilled than others. One of the latest is manufactured by a California company and looks like a 300-pound, 5-foot-tall slim, false-shaped trash can. It reportedly travels autonomously up to 3 miles per hour. This robot is a fusion of technology – robotics, sensors, autonomously predictable analysis, thermal imaging and perhaps a few more technological “things” that the manufacturer has not yet published.
Reportedly, this robot has the ability to scan 300 vehicle number plates per minute in a parking lot or structure. This is useful for detecting vehicles that are of concern to people working in a building, such as disgruntled employees, pursuers, or people who have restraining orders that prohibit them from being at a local or near certain employees. By identifying a banned vehicle on site, the robot provides security action action. A human security officer can receive immediate information from the robot on a smart phone and respond to the scene and take appropriate action. The ability to know about a real-time situation gives a human security officer the ability to respond quickly and hopefully resolve a problem before it escalates to violence.
Some citizens have expressed privacy concerns over the “Big Brother” robot watching their full moves. But the reality is that they are already being monitored by human security personnel, undercover detectives, maintenance personnel and high-tech surveillance cameras. And anytime you enter a private facility, the facility has almost carte blanche authority to keep an eye on your every move.
Security robots increase human security
Will human security officers lose their jobs with the advent of Sikkerhedsroboter? Working with a security officer is sometimes routine and tedious, and human officers need to take breaks to stay physically and mentally alert. A security robot has no such needs. It just keeps going and going and going.
It is far too early to know how security Robots will affect overall physical security strategies and practices as technology continues to evolve. Currently, security robots are not designed or intended for intervention. Their role is to be a commanding or “authoritative” presence and act as a “look-out” and hopefully serve as a deterrent to dismissal activities.
Security robots as a strength multiplier
A human security officer can only be one place at a time. The security robot is a “force multiplier” in that a single security officer can instantly access all the information collected by the robot via a smartphone. When using Sikkerhedsroboter becoming more common place, their use is likely to reduce the number of human security officers in many security sites. But it will not replace all human security officers. The ‘smart eyes, ears and nose’ of a security robot can see, hear and smell, but the robot can take no action based on these sensors except to sound an alarm. It requires a human security officer to respond to the scene and determine the appropriate course of action.
Sikkerhedsroboter is likely to change the role of a traditional, uniformed security officer from what is often a “watchman” or “security guard” to a first responder of an incident. When this happens, a security officer’s need for readiness will require more training, and this increased responsibility and training will likely result in an increased recognition of the value of a human security officer. In time, this increased responsibility and professionalism should result in increased salaries for human security “first responders.”