Robot Offers Gas Station Security

At a San Francisco Shell station, a robotic security guard keeps watch.

July 25, 2018

SAN FRANSICSO – Robots have been spotted in a number of environments, including airports, college campuses and shopping malls. Now one has been “employed” by a San Francisco Shell station as a security guard, the New York Post reports. The robot weighs 400 pounds and stands 3 feet wide and five feet tall.

The security robot contains four cameras and can travel at the speed of 3 mph, about the same as a person walking. The dome-shaped robot scans and records constantly. The four cameras are aimed in different directions to record multiple angles as the robot moves around its turf. The robot probably can’t catch anyone due to its slow speed, but it will record any crime.

Local police report that more than 100 alleged crimes took place within a quarter mile of the intersection where the gas station sits, including 27 assaults, 16 vehicle break-ins and eight car thefts, according to San Francisco Curbed.

The robot scans license plates of those stopping at the station, and its cameras alert those in range that it’s recording their movements. The robot seems to be a Knightscope K5, made by Knightscope, which “markets its robots as crime-deterrent devices,” according to San Francisco Curbed.

Flippy, a robot cook, was recently “rehired” at Caliburger to flip hamburgers, while a robotic Coffee Haus barista is scheduled to start at the Austin airport this month.