It’s bigger than a Roomba, cruises the malls 24 hours a day, and is in more selfies than a member of One Direction.
But the Knightscope K-5 robot, an autonomous security guard introduced three years ago, has company.
Knightscope, a Mountain View-based robotics company, rolled out two new security ‘bots Tuesday afternoon, the K-1, and the K-7.
The K-7 will get the most attention, because it looks like a 5 foot tall version of the Mars lander. It rolls on four wheels, is fully electric, and is made to patrol larger areas than the K-5, which will stick largely to shopping centers.
The K-1, meanwhile, is a standalone robot, largely aimed at airports and hospitals.
Knightscope, which is in the process of selling some stock in what it calls a “mini-IPO,” is raising money to build the bigger ‘bots, with the hope of capturing more of the growing security market. With the K-7, CEO William Santana Li says, “imagine going longer distances over gravel, curbs, sand, that sort of thing.” An all-terrain security ‘bot.
Despite all the selfies and people literally walking up and hugging the rolling security robots, it hasn’t been entirely smooth sailing for the company. One K-5 rolled into the fountain of a shopping center; another knocked down a child while patrolling Stanford Shopping Center last summer. Says Li, “we’re still learning.”
Learning, raising money, and – come next year – putting even more impressive robots out on patrol.
Scott has tweeted out video of the new ‘bot in action here: @scottbudman