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Meet One of Your Future Robot Security Guards

How can autonomous robot security guards improve public safety? By processing data from their surroundings, STRANDS robots can learn what is normal, and which changes—even minute ones—pose a threat. Becuase they never tire or lose focus, these safety sidekicks can help humans achieve optimal safety and security in any setting.

If you imagine a robot security guard—an electronic watchman that can patrol corridors, keeping an eye out for anything suspicious—you probably wouldn’t picture Linda. About the height of a small adult, it looks a bit like an elongated Dalek but is conspicuously lacking any weaponised appendages. In fact, it has no arms; just a touch screen, a whole host of sensors, and a pair of long-lashed but unseeing googly eyes.

The STRANDS robots are designed to last for at least a few weeks (one year into the project, Linda can function autonomously for 15 days) and actually make use of the experience they gather over that time. By observing the world around them, they can adapt to changing environments and, most importantly, recognise any deviation from routines—like an intruder snooping around a restricted area, or an elderly resident fallen in a corridor.

“The only thing it can basically do is move from one place to another, but it does that quite smartly,” Hanheide explained. Linda continuously makes 2D and 3D maps of its surroundings using a laser sensor where you might consider its ankles to be, a Kinect-like sensor on its head, and a second on its body pointing downwards to detect potential disturbances like cliff edges. Using these sensors, it moves autonomously (no remote control needed) and observes changes: a person walking by, a door opening or closing, an object that wasn’t there before. Read entire article here>