Robotic technologies are changing the security landscape in commercial real estate. Two recent examples highlight the trend for incumbent players to partner with startups to maximize innovation and to ensure the effectiveness of this complementary technology in protecting the occupants of large facilities.
ADT Commercial has recently established its own Innovation Lab based in Dallas, Texas with its first project scheduled to introduce humanoid robots to the security space. Through a partnership with Halodi Robotics, a Norway-based provider of humanoid robotic solutions in physical security, retail and healthcare applications, the Lab is working on use cases for customers, with pilot projects expected in their facilities early in 2022.
Halodi was selected to be a partner of ADT Commercial in April 2021, when the leading US provider of security services completed a strategic investment in the startup. The contract with ADT provides Halodi Robotics with around NOK 25m (around $2.75m) in fresh capital, and gives ADT the opportunity to double its investment if the sales target is achieved. In May, ADT Commercial also participated in Halodi’s Series A $10.1m funding round. In October, Halodi announced it was running tests and conducting robot demos on the ground in Dallas with robots purchased by ADT Commercial.
Another partnership was announced in September 2021 when Johnson Controls selected Ava Robotics to power their new Tyco Security Robot for workplace applications, to improve human productivity, safety and quality of life. Taking a unified approach to solve existing and emerging challenges within the workplace, including for specific and evolving building and facility security needs, this robot is designed to bring access control, video surveillance and security robotics together for an efficient solution. In order to better address evolving security and facility monitoring needs, businesses are identifying opportunities to streamline security operations, maximize staffing and automate processes.
The Security Robot provides:
- People detection to determine when people are present at unexpected times or locations.
- Incident prevention to limit potentially harmful incidents and minimize negative or dangerous interactions.
- Monitoring and management for faster reaction to incidents, review incidents remotely, monitor critical equipment and ensure safety is maintained across operations.
- Comprehensive security coverage by increasing security patrols and establishing an enhanced physical presence that augments existing monitoring.
- Operations beyond traditional security such as the ability to run routine safety inspections on equipment and critical infrastructure across operations and receive sensor data.
Johnson Controls Security Robots powered by Ava Robotics are a workforce multiplier for an organization's security staff, autonomously conducting event response along with routine patrols and inspections, providing 360-degree video coverage and SIP audio communication capabilities. The robots improve situational awareness to security staff for diagnosis or diffusing an incident remotely. Equipped with video analytics that can monitor building occupancy levels, mask compliance, and object detection, the robots can promote a healthy and safe building environment by measuring temperature, humidity and air quality and combustible gases during inspections with solutions such as Johnson Controls C•CURE and Victor event alerts.
Security robots have also found a role in guarding large commercial buildings such as shopping malls. Knightscope, an advanced robotics technology company building fully Autonomous Security Robots (ASRs) for this market announced a public listing on the NASDAQ global market on 1st December 2021, with the commencement of its offering of up to $40 million of Class A common stock. Proceeds of the offering will enable the company to continue to scale its current fleet while simultaneously investing in new technologies that further accelerate robot adoption as a complementary security solution for government facilities, hospitals, schools, corporate campuses, manufacturing plants, logistic facilities, and airports in the USA. Knightscope’s 2020 revenues amounted to $3.3 million and as of June 30, 2021, their client base grew to 34 clients, with 51 machines-in-network.
With two of the major players in the commercial facilities management space investing in this technology, the full potential of autonomous robots as a mainstream security solution is gaining ground and may well be realized in the near future.
This article was written by Daphne Tomlinson, Senior Research Associate at Memoori.