The Autonomous K5: A Bot for Predicting and Preventing Crime


Silicon Valley, the renowned center for invention and development, is always in news. Lately, Microsoft’s robo cop has been creating waves in the tech ocean of the Valley. Start-up, Knightscope has named its security robot K5. Makers of the robot using high tech robotics, predictive analytics and social engagement, wanted to use the bot in predicting and preventing crime. Till now, the company has designed seven robots and envisions positioning four more by the end of this year. 

The sensors laden bot

The friendly appearing fully autonomous robot measures 36 inches in length, 32 inches in width, 60 inches tall and is 300 pounds in weight. Not armed with traditional arms and ammunition, like we generally see our security guards at work, the dome shaped K5 bot on the contrary comes loaded with camera, navigation equipment, electric motors and a number of sensors such as optical character recognition, high definition omnidirectional imaging, thermal imaging, infrared, microphones for high quality audio, ultrasonic sensors, radar, remote sensing lidar technology and air quality sensors. The bot is battery operated and single charging is enough for it to keep moving for 24 hours.


These sensors enable a real time on-site data information about any suspicious behavior to be gathered, which can be conveyed to controllers for taking quick action, if required. There is also a button on the bot’s head, which can be pressed by anyone seeking for help, notifying human intervention or supervision.

Refrains confrontation but chirp’s loudly

Technology like GPS, laser scanning, inertial measurements and wheel encoders makes the bot completely of its own for operation and charging. Any sort of potential danger is identified using prediction algorithms based on real time data, existing data and geofenced social feeds. The prediction algorithm will be open for public via data streaming, thus engaging communities, which can provide feedback.


Knightscope co-founder, Stacy Dean Stephens explained that the K5 bot is specifically designed to refrain confrontations. On encountering any suspicious person, the bot will move around the person, meanwhile sending video to the human controller. It can also pick up sound of breaking glass or similar sounds and it would redirect itself to find the source and send the information like location, picture etc to the control room. And if the burglar decides to attack, the bot notify the control room by a loud chirp, the intensity increases as long the danger persists, making it real uncomfortable to bear.

Machine for monitoring potential crimes

Rising popularity of such robot is definitely a matter of concern for security staff, who are apprehensive about the slashing of their jobs. According to Knitghtscope, the estimated charge for operating the bot would cost around $6.25 per hour. Whereas, hiring human security staff costs around twice the amount required by the bot to operate. This would make companies to try out these robot that work tirelessly, without demanding any leaves. These security bots are also perfect to handle any boring, monotonous and unsafe work. While on the other hand, the human guards can be engaged in more tactical and strategic thinking jobs, a similar approach could also be seen by the developers of GoCart, the Food Delivery Bot.

The company foresees its robot operating in malls, school and college campuses, offices, stadiums, airport, seaports, casinos, hotels and even in neighborhood and contributing in curbing crime by almost 50 percent. Well, I would definitely like to have such robots patrolling in my locality. What do you have to say?

Source: Knightscope

Explore further

Leave a Comment