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Knightscope, Inc.’s AI-equipped Security Robots Building Confidence in Law Enforcement Sector

  • Knightscope is building a clientele for its robotic security force models, including about dozens of clients from Fortune 1000 companies, to law enforcement agencies, hospitals, casinos, water utilities, malls and manufacturing plants
  • The company’s robots use artificial intelligence to navigate indoor and outdoor areas that are Americans with Disabilities Act compliant, and can be monitored with a simple browser and Internet connection
  • The robots record data and use recognition features to assess potentially significant elements such as human activities, thermal changes and license plate information
  • The privately held company is backed by more than 16,000 investors and four major corporations, and has raised more than $70 million since its founding in 2013
  • Knightscope has now secured its first agreement with the federal government for a project at a Texas Veterans Administration hospital, which the company hopes may lead to more federal projects in the future

A series of publicized incidents in which police officers used violence against racial minorities during the past few years, generating controversy because of their tactics, has led to a nationwide debate about the role of law enforcement and the potential need for police reform.

The debate has extended beyond the purview of street-patrolling officers in metropolitan areas, as demonstrated by the recent announcement from the University of Oregon that it will convert several vacant armed police officer positions into frontline, unarmed community service officer positions — an effort to develop more confidence in campus security forces while retaining a backup armed police presence for potentially violent circumstances (https://ibn.fm/9I0id).

Autonomous Security Robot developer Knightscope is pursuing a distinct strategy for generating confidence in protective forces. The company’s roving, artificial intelligence-equipped sentries are designed to create a qualified security presence not unlike the one used at the university, presenting a non-threatening patrol that is nonetheless a capable, critical frontline deployment in combating criminal forces.

Knightscope’s indoor and outdoor-capable models feature 360-degree eye-level HD streaming video, speakers for recorded or live communication, and recognition features that detect people, faces, license plates, thermal fluctuations and automatic signals.

A whimsical CG-animated video of the robots arriving at a train station celebrates the company’s first deployment on behalf of the federal government with an agreement to use them at the Audie L. Murphy Memorial Veteran’s Hospital in San Antonio, Texas (https://ibn.fm/Y7PiG). Knightscope is hopeful its performance there will lead to additional government projects in the future.

“One of the more obvious roles for robots in security is that they’re highly productive in repetitive and dangerous tasks,” Stacy Stephens, the vice president of marketing and sales, said in another video that explains how the robots work (https://ibn.fm/KeRYE). “So if you can imagine putting a human being into a place where they’re doing the same thing over and over and over again, they become ineffective very, very quickly. You can also imagine having to put somebody in the line of fire in a dangerous situation — a robot doesn’t care about that. You put them in there instead of a human being, you make it safer and much more productive.”

Human operators can then monitor and review the data the sentries collect at will. The robots function in Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant areas, using LiDAR for navigation in combination with sonar and GPS to navigate. They also retain video data for two weeks, which is accessible with a simple Chrome browser and Internet connection. Their mere presence may serve as a deterrent for problems.

The company estimates that the robots operate in a price range of about $4 to $11 an hour, which makes their service less expensive than their human counterparts after they’ve been purchased. Clients include about Fortune 1000 clients, such as Samsung and Citizens Bank, five major hospitals plus law enforcement agencies.

Using equity crowdfunding, Knightscope has raised millions of dollars to support its operations from a larger pool than most big money companies might seek and is now raising growth capital to scale up its operations.

“A lot of larger institutional investors will say, … ‘You have 7,000 investors, they must be driving you mad,’” CEO William Santana Li said during an interview earlier this year with StartEngine strategic adviser Kevin O’Leary, aka Mr. Wonderful (https://ibn.fm/iYrcV). “I tell them, ‘Listen, chief security officers of major corporations are investors of ours. NYPD detectives, FBI, CIA, DHS, vice presidents of leasing of major malls. I would never dare trade out our 7,000 investors for three or four guys (it’s mostly guys) sitting around a table asking the wrong questions, worried about all the wrong things.”

Knightscope is now backed by more than 16,000 investors and four major corporations, having raised more than $70 million since it began in 2013.

For more information, visit the company’s website at www.Knightscope.com.

Visit www.Knightscope.com/Invest for a summary of Knightscope as an investment, with a blue Instant Messaging button for direct contact with their CEO.

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Knightscope are available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/Knight

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