World’s first security robot that combines ground and aerial surveillance

World’s first security robot that combines ground and aerial surveillance
As security concerns increase and the costs of employing security personnel go up, the natural tendency is to turn towards technology for solution. This is one of the reasons the industry is seeing more and more intelligent solutions entering the market that can replace or complement human presence.

Notable among them are security robots. Companies like Knightscope and SMP Robotics have pioneered in this field, but since the market is still relatively new, opportunities abound for new entrants. And the latest company to have come up with a solution is the Singapore-based OTSAW Digital.

Launched in May 2017, the company's robot O-R3 is an autonomous outdoor security robot, built with proprietary OTSAW AI technology, a combination of advanced machine learning algorithm, 3D SLAM technology and computer vision. While its R&D is done in Silicon Valley, OTSAW Digital has its headquarters in Singapore.

What makes this robot special?

As noted earlier, there are already quite a few companies in this field, and most of them offer security robots that make use of a variety of sensors and sensing technology to secure specific areas. Naturally for O-R3 to stand out from competition, OTSAW Digital had to come up with something beyond all these, and it has.

O-R3 is the first security robot that has a built-in drone, allowing the solution to reach where a land-based system cannot.

“O-R3 is the world’s first autonomous security robot that combines ground and aerial surveillance capabilities (UGV-UAV collaborative system),” said Ling Ting Ming, CEO of OTSAW Digital. “This enables a 360 degree surveillance scope which leaves no blind spots unchecked and greatly enhances security of premises. Moreover with a formidable physical presence on site (O-R3 is 1.6(H) x 1.2 x 0.6 M, roughly the size of a golf buggy), the O-R3 effectively deters potential crime.”

O-R3 patrols designated premises and has advanced anomaly detection capabilities, made possible through sensor fusion technology, of data acquired from multiple cameras and highly precise sensors. Once an anomaly is detected, real-time alerts will be communicated from the O-R3 to the fleet control center (typically manned by skilled security personnel), and allows for instant reaction to prevent or stop crime effectively.

What could drive demand for O-R3?

Ling is quite clear of the factors that could drive demand for his company’s product, which according to him are labor constraints and increasing labor costs.

“Security is necessary and essential to keep environments safe and prevent crime,” Ling said. “However, people do not aspire to be security guards in general and turnover in the security industry is extremely high. As society becomes more educated, the available supply pool will only decline. Moreover, with the increasing acceptance of AI technology and proven capability of robots to do low level tasks (often better than humans!), in the near future it is likely for more robots such as O-R3 to carry out tasks like surveillance and patrolling while humans perform high value jobs.”

Ling is well aware of the difficulties faced in the hiring process especially for low level jobs. He added that security is one industry especially plagued with such problems, and automating surveillance and security patrolling using autonomous robots will ultimately ensure reliability of security services, greatly reducing costs for businesses.

Early adopters in the Middle East

Despite having entered the market just a couple of months ago, O-R3 has already found its first customers. According to reports, the city of Dubai will be introducing the robot to its streets by the end of the year. O-R3 will not be replacing any police officers, but will augment their operations. 
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