Microsoft Tests Robot Security Guards For Patrolling Office Campuses

The 1980s taught us many things, one of them being that robot guards don't mess around. Remember the ED-209 Enforcement Droid in RoboCop? That's a prime example of why we don't want armed robots in charge of keeping the peace. But what about unarmed robots? You'll find them patrolling Microsoft's Silicon Valley campus, so mind your manners if you have cause to visit.

These giant tin cans look like the lovechild of R2-D2 and Robby the Robot from Forbidden Planet (yeah, we just went really old school). A company called Knightscope designs and builds these 5-feet security guards called K5, and each one weighs 300 pounds. But like we said, they're not much for getting in a scuffle with someone who runs afoul of the law.


Rather than bullets and other built-in arsenal, K5s have cameras and sensors to monitor their assigned areas. They can capture high definition video all around them, record high quality audio, analyze faces, read license plates, detect biological and chemical agents, and more. So, what happens if a crime is happening?

In addition to recording the incident, they have onboard alarms and sirens. They can also alert a not-yet-obsolete flesh and blood security guard, should it be necessary. And if you see one and are in need of help, you can use them for that as well.

Cool stuff, though it does make us think twice about Old Glory Insurance -- it's not so funny anymore, is it?