It seems like every day we hear about another industry that AI, robotics, and automation are coming to improve. Fast food service has gotten better with more automation in the kitchen. Manufacturing has been helped immensely by robotics and automation, making the jobs in factories safer and less physically intensive. However, one place that we didn’t expect to see robotics, at least not today, is security. However, ADT Commercial has a new robot security guard called Apollo.
What is Apollo?
Apollo is a humanoid robot that is intended to augment traditional security guards in an office, retail space, or any other commercial property. It is part of the company’s new EvoGuard initiative, which seeks to infuse high-tech capabilities into ADT’s commercial security offerings.
A large part of a human security guard’s job is to observe their surroundings and report on what they see. This can be done by walking the premises and looking for things that are out of place, or by sitting with a wall of screens watching an entire property at once. If something out of the ordinary is observed, the correct people are alerted. This could be another member of security, the property owner, or even the police.
Apollo is capable of doing all of this, without any of the restrictions of a person. The robot can travel around a property easily looking for changes in the environment, or even recognizable issues. Once an issue is recognized, it can report back to a security supervisor and a human can take over control of the robot to go and investigate further. If warranted, the agent can then notify someone on the grounds, the property owner, or the local police.
One of the interesting features of Apollo is the virtual reality option. Using a VR headset, the supervisor is able to essentially become the robot. They are able to see through the perspective of the robot and manipulate it as if they were there. This includes moving its hands, opening or closing doors, checking windows, etc. However, if the supervisor is unable or unwilling to use the VR experience, the entire thing can also be controlled from the system’s computer-based dashboard.
This is actually the reason why Apollo is humanoid. If the purpose was merely to observe and report, then it could have been designed to look like a trash can. However, because it is intended to be able to be used remotely to accomplish goals, the company let it was important to make it with a wider range of motion. But, since all of our environments are designed for humans, it was decided that Apollo should be humanoid, as well.
Apollo is currently in use through partnerships with three test partners. Using their feedback, the company and its design partner are able to make adjustments before it becomes available for a wider audience, hopefully during quarter 1 of 2023. To learn more about Apollo or ADT’s other commercial security offerings, you can check out their website.
Interview by Daniele Mendez of The New Product Launchpad.
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