Like Blade Runner before it and the excellent television reboot of Westworld, the recent blockbuster movie Ghost in the Shell examines the idea that advances in Artificial Intelligence could result in machines that will be almost indivisible from humans.
That possible future took a step closer with the recent announcement that Cobalt Robotics Inc has introduced robot security guards that they claim are just as intelligent as a self-driving car.
The Californian based company say their machines will complement the work of human security operatives rather than replace them. The machines have a friendly cone design, intended to make them seem less like the ‘evil robot’ stereotype, and are available in metallic blue or silver white colouring.
Each of the robots has 60 sensors including lidar, ultrasound, smoke detectors and depth sensors. They also have wide angle day and night vision cameras and can see 360 degrees around themselves. Equipped with mics and two-way video cameras, they also enable employees to use its badge reader to identify themselves.
The robots are able to communicate with human handlers if they come across any irregularities and breaches such as open doors and windows. Initially they are being deployed and tested in Silicon Valley.
They are designed to patrol workplaces unobtrusively, even during normal working hours. Typical buildings where they might be used include museums, warehouses, offices, hospitals, shopping malls and educational facilities.
Take a look at this video to see the robots in action.
Interestingly it doesn’t show them going up stairs…