Yes, security robots are now a thing – and they are growing in use across the country! If you are evaluating the use of autonomous security robots, then we owe it to you to share a few tips since we’ve been at it for a while and have a ton of relevant real-world experience.
1. USE CASE
It is important to clearly identify the areas of improvement needed in your security program. What problems are you having? Where are the pain points? Understand the capabilities of the technology and then work creatively to try fill the gap most efficiently.
Our team now has a pretty robust and extensive assessment process and if we can’t do something, we will let you know outright if it is not possible. In a lot of cases, however, it may be possible to overcome in the future. With more dialogue and collaboration, it could even be something we add to our technology roadmap … especially if we know some of your colleagues across the country are struggling with the same issue.
When we set the right expectations with the client early on and establish a collaborative relationship, things usually work out smoothly and we make great progress together. But every organization is different and some set wildly unrealistic expectations – this is cutting edge new technology and will not operate at 99.9999995% uptime and is not yet the same as turning the faucet and expecting water will always come out.
What works well is opening a healthy and expansive dialogue, having ongoing and clear communications, continuing to make improvements together (yes, in some cases the client side requires significant improvements), and then with our Security-Robot-as-a-Service (SRaaS) business model, our clients enjoy unlimited software, firmware and at times hardware upgrades. So the better we work together, the better the technology gets over time and everyone wins, especially since we drop over-the-air software updates every couple of weeks and seek hardware improvement several times a year.
3. BUDGET APPROVAL AND ORGANIZATIONAL BUY-IN
You should make sure to think clearly through your source of funding. Typically, it comes out of the security budget but sometimes finds itself in the facilities budget, the IT budget or the ‘innovation’ budget. You should also consider what happens for the 2nd year as that can determine the long-term success of the program.
On a related note, make sure you really, really understand who has the signing authority as well as who is involved in the decision-making process. We like to say if the Chief Security Officer decides that the cameras in the building need to be upgraded, it is unlikely there are multiple departments involved and the decision is pretty streamlined.
However, if you show up with a 400 pound, fully autonomous robot that is going to be patrolling your premises 24/7/365, there likely will be a lot more folks involved. Based on actual experience our list includes, but is not limited, to:
And also think through who needs to be involved post-deployment. Think it through and be sure to have a game plan!
Communicate, communicate, communicate. We are here to serve you. The more we know, the more helpful we can be – just be clear as to what is a ‘must’, what is a ‘need’, and what is a ‘want’. We often find that after much dialogue the ‘must’ was really a ‘want’ and vice versa. Also, having any 3rd parties involved to communicate pre-deployment or post-deployment is, in our experience, profoundly counterproductive. Be sure to demand to speak to the experts directly. No one has ever done this before and we often can be quite helpful.
So now that you know what not to do, let us know if you’d like to learn more about autonomous security capabilities. We’ve operated over 700,000 hours in the real world under numerous conditions, through all 4 seasons several times, and we’ve done so both outdoors and indoors – at this point we’ve probably forgotten more in our building than most folks know about how to have a successful integration of technology in your security program. And we have renewing clients across the country to prove it.