Technology start-up Knightscope last week debuted a prototype security robot that looks a lot like a Dalek (of Doctor Who
infamy.) The K5 Autonomous Data Machine stands five feet high, rolls around on wheels, can sense a variety of potential security threats through an array of sensors, and can instantly notify the police in the event of an emergency. It was shown at the Plug and Play Winter Expo this week, gaining a top-three mention from a panel of 101 Silicon Valley judges.
The K5 was noted for its imposing yet “friendly” presence. (It does not nor has it ever, to our knowledge, uttered the word “Exterminate.”) Its abilities and assets include optical character recognition, 360-degree video capture, thermal imaging, microphones for high-quality audio, air quality sensors for detecting chemical and biological threats, an ultrasonic sensor, infrared sensor, radar, and lidar for 3D mapping. Together these sensors allow it to move along a human-set course during normal patrol, but somewhat deviate when necessary based on the data it receives from the environment.