Security Hardware and Technology

Robots Evolve to Predict Human Actions

One trend that is poised to increase significantly in 2018 is the acceptance in the security market for the combination of human personnel and robotic guarding operations to keep people, property, and businesses safer.

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Last year saw a new fleet of security patrols emerge on the scene. Offering assistance in transmitting real-time data to help humans, the objective is to be able to make better decisions on the spot and remotely. Security patrol robots are vying to make themselves right at home in commercial settings.

Using the latest in computer vision, machine learning, and robotic technology, the potential for this type of technology is enormous. Eventually robots will be taught to predict when someone in a crowd will be injured, or even when a crime is about to take place. The ability to predict behavior to initiate split-second decisions when responding to an incident will take robots to the next level.

Just recently, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory released a new algorithm in which the computer can predict human actions and interactions using an artificial intelligence (AI) technique called Deep Learning. These video analytics are necessary for robots to make up their own understanding of human interaction to determine how to react to a situation like a human would react.

MIT researchers fed the program 600 hours of YouTube videos and television shows like The Office, Desperate Housewives, and Scrubs and then asked it to predict whether the actors’ next action would be a handshake, a hug, a high five, or a kiss. The test showed the computer videos of people who are 1 second away from doing one of the four interactions. The computer creates several possible future scenarios and uses what it has learned to guess what will happen.

Having previously led the Harvard-MIT robotics team, 24-year-old Erik Schluntz is now on the forefront the smart robot industry. The cofounder of Palo Alto, California, Cobalt Robotics, Schluntz was just named to the Forbes magazine’s Prestigious 30 Under 30 List.

As Cobalt Robotics’ CTO, Schluntz leads development of new AI algorithms, machine learning, and robot mapping. Cobalt’s autonomous security robots are built to learn, interacting with human partners and using new information to improve their functions.

“One of the core fundamental values of Cobalt is to enable human-to-machine interactions,” said Schluntz. “The way we do that is designing a robot to interact with and around people.”

Using extremely capable sensors (day-night 360° cameras, thermal cameras, depth cameras, etc.) and cutting-edge algorithms (machine learning, semantic mapping, novelty detection, and deep neural networks), the Cobalt robot detects and flags security-relevant conditions or anomalies in people, items that are suspicious or have moved or changed, at doors and windows, and environmental scenarios like water leaks.

Reno, Nevada-based Robotic Assistance Devices (RAD) is supplying its intelligent robotic solutions to Allied Universal, one of the largest providers of security guard services in North America.

“The RAD portfolio augments the core competencies of our guard personnel because it offers fully autonomous patrolling stakeholders can leverage to make rapid, informed decisions,” says Ty Richmond, president, integrated security solutions and technology, Allied Universal. “The data captured by the security robot will prove valuable in post-event investigations, enabling our customers to quickly address ongoing issues, close cases and identify trends. We are excited to explore the possibilities alongside RAD.”

The robots are expected to supplement existing security personnel, improve safety, increase situational awareness, and drive efficiency across the enterprise.

Denver, Colorado-based Gamma 2 Robotics makes RAMSEE, a fully autonomous, self-mapping, self-navigating, and easy-to-deploy security patrol robot. RAMSEE provides real-time data on intruders, motion, smoke, fire, and more.

Gamma 2 Robotics and Hexagon Safety & Infrastructure are now partnering to deliver the capabilities of a comprehensive physical security information management solution featuring Hexagon’s command-and-control software and multiple security systems and sensors, including RAMSEE.