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July 11, 2023


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US school turns to AI-driven security robot for additional surveillance measures

A school in Santa Fe, New Mexico, is piloting the use of an AI-enabled robot to patrol its campus grounds and improve security for its staff and students.

Team1stTechnologies-SecurityRobots-23The move has come amid growing concerns around gun violence and mass shootings in schools, according to the Wall Street Journal, who first reported the story.

The robot is set to patrol the campus 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Its artificial intelligence system is currently being trained to learn the school’s regular activities, which will support it in recognising abnormal or aggressive behaviour, as well as unknown intruders.

While it has a weapons detection feature, the school says it has chosen to disable it for the time being as the security team assesses how the robot functions in the school environment. It is able to alert the security team if it spots a potential intruder, as well as transmit intruder and video footage to inform security officers’ course of action. Officers can also speak to intruders through a communications system.

The robot isn’t armed, and doesn’t feature facial recognition. From a privacy perspective, Santa Fe High School owns the video footage and will have ownership over whether it needs saving, according to the WSJ report.

At the time of the report, the robot has not yet been required to spot any intruders, though it has flagged new workers entering the school construction site.

Other schools in the Santa Fe district are said to be exploring the introduction of robots to their campuses’, too. The robot in use at Santa Fe High School has been supplied by Team 1st Technologies, and is being piloted free of charge. The cost for one school year is estimated to be between $60-70k, believes the school.

As AI solutions become more advanced, there are growing use-cases for guarding applications from security robots, it would appear. In July last year, IFSEC Insider reported that several casinos in the US have been using “fully autonomous” robots from Knightscope to protect casinos.

Benefits include 24/7 patrols and monitoring, though clearly human involvement from the security team to make decisions on footage and act is still required.


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