Robotic security guards patrol the Tokyo metropolitan government building

It was way back in 2018 when one of our reporters came across a robotic security guard patrolling the platform at Seibu Shinjuku Station. Although it looked more like a large floor scrubbing machine than Robocop and only had a test run at the time, it still in a way heralded the beginning of robotic safety in Japan.

▼ It looked like it should also give off a pleasant aroma.

And now, on August 11, a team of three autonomous patrol robots reported for permanent duty at the Tokyo City Government Building. These particular robots are SQ-2 models manufactured by Seqsense in Tokyo. Their AI can recognize people and obstacles to avoid collisions while navigating their predetermined patrol routes, and they have multiple onboard cameras that stream video directly to human security personnel in a central location.

You also have a hand sensor that can put you in touch with Guards of the Flesh for help or general enquiries. When their batteries run low, they automatically search for and connect to a charging port. During this time, they continue to monitor with their cameras, including the ones rotating on their heads, which not only creates 3D maps of their surroundings, but also makes them look like the robots from “Lost in Space”.

News readers were intrigued by the new security devices, but not entirely convinced they were the best option for Government House.

“They look kind of intimidating with those things spinning on their heads.”

“Is the R2-D2 model not available?”

“Is arming them in self-defense an option?”

“Why not just set up some 360 ​​cameras.”

“There are many such robots in Otemachi, but they’re scarier than security guards to see one at night.”

“Just having cameras moving is enough of a deterrent. They should also use these in schools.”

“I would just put some tape over their cameras.”

“Can’t you just knock it over?”

“I’m waiting for the first to run away.”

“I wish they would use one of those Boston Dynamics dogs.”

“However, human security forces are still doing the important things.”

In fact, developing a robot that could perform all the duties of a regular security guard, including interpersonal ones, would drive up the price significantly. In addition, the replacement of all human jobs by robots brings with it a range of other socio-economic problems. Instead, these robots fill in labor shortages when needed at an affordable price. In this case, a Tokyo Metropolitan Government manager confirmed: “We introduced this system as a measure to address a shortage of security personnel.

It’s once again a sign that robots in the workplace in Japan are increasingly taking the form of avatars, from which a smaller number of people can work remotely.

Source: NHK, Hachima Kiko, Seqsense

Picture above: YouTube / SEQSENSE, Inc.

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