Thursday, March 23Welcome

One of America’s most hated companies has hired a security robot.It did not work

night scope

Can robots bring you peace of mind?

This has been a conundrum with my inner workings for a while.

If robots are very smart (certainly some robots are) they can protect us from all sorts of nefarious threats and intrusions. For example, from other robots.

So when I first heard that a company called Knightscope had created security robots to patrol buildings, I was unnaturally impressed.

How will the local inferior humans react? I learned this quickly when a human was accused of assaulting one of these things at the company’s offices in Mountain View, California.

Still, the business was apparently thriving, and I kept getting emails from the company—even when one of their security robots fell into a mall fountain.

But recently, I heard that a local company that has many customers outraged has hired one of Knightscope’s rolling software sheriffs.

California utility PG&E is notorious for its arrogant, possessive demeanor and its role in devastating fires. pleaded guilty to manslaughter.

So when PG&E decided to adopt autonomous security robots for the 19th time, I wasn’t at all surprised when the gardens and locals on San Francisco’s Folson Street were less amused.

One resident told Mission Local:

Then there was the noise. A good human guard knows how to walk quietly. However, the Knightscope robot sounds surreal and spacey, as if he’s auditioning for Doctor Who.

One local resident said, “You can hear the nasty sounds the robot makes all day long, including when you’re trying to sleep at night.”

Presumably, locals will freak out when they hear the security robot experiment, which reportedly saved PG&E $9 an hour, is over.

A PG&E spokesperson told the San Francisco Standard:

Did human annoyance really win day and night? Maybe PG&E got too nervous about tarnishing their brand image and decided to save a little money.

I asked Knightscope for that view, and I’ll update if I hear a beep from the driveway.

Also: Best of CES 2023: 6 innovations shaping the future

All this reminds me of the wonderful experiments of robot dogs in war.

The U.S. Marine Corps once experimented with using Boston Dynamics robotic dogs to carry equipment and perform other critical tasks, alleviating the burden on the military.

I had one small problem. Robot dogs signaled the Marines’ positions as they rattled and rattled along the battlefield.

Some robot ideas sound great in theory. But humans have certain emotional parameters that robot manufacturers don’t always take into account.

Of course, it’s the rare mind that thinks, “Wait, if this makes weird noises at night, it might wake up the neighbors.”

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