There have been a number of interesting developments in the automation of security in the past year or so, whether it’s applying AI to CCTV footage to predict theft or the use of smart facial recognition technology in policing.
The venture, called Aptonomy, provides a drone that is capable of delivering audible warnings to people who are acting inappropriately, such as attempting to break into a warehouse.
Co-founders Mihail Pivtoraiko and Siddharth Sanan have a strong pedigree, with both holding doctorates from the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University.
Safe and Sound
The drones are already being tested by a few construction companies, with oil refineries also expressing interest. They feature a number of sensors that alter a standard photography drone. In addition to sensors and cameras, the drones are also equipped with red and blue lights, a spotlight and loudspeakers to communicate with people on the ground.
Video footage of the scene is captured using both regular and night vision cameras, with plans afoot to add thermal imaging capabilities to the drone in due course.
Rather than be manned by a security operative, the drone will be programmed to patrol an area automatically. Should it encounter someone that should not be there, the lights flash and the intruder is identified with the spotlight, before a canned warning is delivered. This also notifies a security guard, who can then either take control of the drone or investigate personally.
At the moment, the drone comes with neither the predictive AI capabilities or the facial recognition technology mention at the start of this post, so there is room for improvement. There are also no plans to arm the device in any way, with the company purely interested in providing a surveillance/deterrence service to customers.
It’s certainly an interesting concept and it will be fascinating to see how it develops.