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Knightscope security robots are not Skynet Terminators

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Knightscope security robots are not Skynet Terminators - at least not yet. They are portrayed as gentle protectors and sentries in the attached Geobeats/Examiner video from or about December 3, 2013. The Knightscope K5 Autonomous Data Machine title/description is probably just that. However, the champions of digital freedom - the Electronic Freedom Foundation - have referred to K5 as the "sinister twin of R2-D2" in an unfortunate Star Wars analogy. Mark Rotenberg's comment appeared in the New York Times Science section and in the attached video. The John Markoff NYT piece was posted on Nov. 29, 2013.

Some of you may have already followed the EFF on social media - and yes they do appear to be digital rights champions. The Knightscope K5 ADM appears to have been developed to meet a "social good". Its technology and operation are meant to help prevent tragic massacres like that at Sandy Hook and others. The NYT bit reports that there should be a press event about K5 on or about Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013. The main developers of the Knightscope team are William Santana Li and Stacy D. Stephens.

The technology tab of the Knightscope site is impressive but seems brief on the details - especially for this late date. The tech under the 'hood bubble' looks impressive - but what exactly is it? Details are listed below the enticing photos for: "Machine OS, Sensor OS, 'NOC', optical character recognition, omni-directional imaging, microphones, air quality, ultrasonic, infrared, radar and lidar". Unfortunately, no further details or links appear to be available. Except for 4 videos supplied by Knightscope: Autonomously Trailer, Time Lapse Dance, It Moves! and The Knightscope 5 Autonomous Data Machine. It turns out that the Knightscope K5 may be more of a Segway design than a Skynet Terminator.

A brief patent search and a search for proof-of-concept did not turn up more information. However, Philip Wong's (Software Engineer, Knightscope) LinkedIn Page gives a little more information. Mr. Wong's page (and other sources) links one to their AngelList page. The Thursday event will hopefully bring some proof-of-concept to the public. Unless the Knightscope K5 comes armed with blasters or light sabers it is not expected to be an "evil R2-D2" or a Skynet Terminator. If successful, you may find these little guys all over - just as in a Star Wars movie.


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