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The Future of Manned Guarding in the Age of Automation: Humans & Robots in Security

Updated: Oct 4, 2023

Robots and automation have significantly impacted numerous industries, including the security sector, where AI and autonomous robotics are being increasingly utilised. In this blog, we delve into the future of front-line security roles, moving beyond the question of whether robots will take over to examine how humans will adapt and coexist with automation in the industry.

 
two robots from Boston dynamics
credit: Boston Dynamics
 

Robots and automation have become pervasive across various sectors, revolutionising industries and transforming the way we work. The security industry is no exception to this trend.


With the emergence of AI and autonomous robotics, robots are increasingly being deployed in security operations. The question that arises is not whether robots will take over front-line security roles, but rather when and what role humans will play in this evolving industry.


In this blog, we will explore the future of manned guarding and the potential impact of automation on front-line security roles.


The Rise of Robots in Security:


Advancements in robotics and artificial intelligence have paved the way for the introduction of robots in security operations. These robots can perform various tasks such as surveillance, patrolling, monitoring and threat detection.


Equipped with sophisticated sensors, cameras, and AI algorithms, they offer round-the-clock surveillance capabilities, reducing the need for human presence in certain areas.


Improved Efficiency and Cost-Effectiveness:


One of the primary reasons for the adoption of robots in security is their potential to improve efficiency and reduce costs. Robots can tirelessly monitor areas without fatigue or distraction, eliminating the limitations of human operators.


They can cover large areas quickly and consistently, minimising the risk of human error.


Additionally, robots can operate autonomously, reducing the need for continuous human supervision and allowing security personnel to focus on more complex tasks.


Enhancing Safety and Risk Mitigation:


Robots bring significant advantages in terms of safety and risk mitigation. They can be deployed in hazardous environments or areas where human presence may pose a threat.


Robots equipped with thermal cameras and gas sensors can detect and respond to potential dangers like fires or gas leaks promptly.


By taking over potentially dangerous tasks, robots can protect human lives and minimise the occurrence of accidents or injuries.


The Human Element in Security:


While robots offer undeniable benefits, the role of humans in security cannot be overlooked. Human judgment, intuition, and critical thinking remain invaluable in certain security scenarios.


Humans possess the ability to interpret complex social dynamics, assess intentions, and respond to dynamic situations with empathy and emotional intelligence.


These qualities are crucial in handling delicate situations, conflict resolution, and providing personalised security services.


Human-Robot Collaboration:


Rather than a complete takeover, the future of manned guarding lies in a collaborative partnership between humans and robots. By combining the strengths of both, the security industry can achieve optimal results.


Humans can leverage their cognitive abilities and experience to make informed decisions based on the data and insights provided by robots. They can focus on higher-level tasks such as threat analysis, strategy development, emergency response coordination, as well as building relationships with clients and communities.


Upskilling and Adaptation:


As the industry evolves, security professionals will need to adapt and upskill to work effectively alongside robots. Training programs can be designed to equip security personnel with the necessary knowledge and skills to integrate and collaborate with robotic systems.


This includes understanding robotics technology, data analysis, cybersecurity, and managing human-robot interaction. By embracing technological advancements, security professionals can enhance their value and remain relevant in the changing landscape.


Benefits of Autonomous Security Technology for Clients:


The utilisation of autonomous technology also offers end users significant cost savings when compared with human operators, especially front line personnel. Increasing labour costs, coupled with the diminishing pool of available labour, will be key drivers in the adoption of robotic technologies.


The benefits of autonomous robots to clients are numerous and include:


1. Cost Savings:


One of the most significant advantages of autonomous security technology is the potential for substantial cost savings for clients.


The ever-increasing costs associated with hiring, training, and managing security personnel can be a significant financial burden for organisations. By replacing or reducing manned guarding with autonomous security systems, clients can achieve cost savings in the long run.


While the initial investment in autonomous technology may be higher, the ongoing expenses related to human resources, such as salaries, benefits, and turnover, can be significantly reduced.


2. Enhanced Efficiency and Scalability:


Autonomous security technology offers improved efficiency and scalability compared to manned guarding. Robots can cover large areas and monitor multiple points simultaneously without the limitations of human capabilities.


They do not require breaks, rest, or shift changes, providing continuous surveillance and monitoring. Moreover, as the client's needs change or expand, it is easier to deploy additional robots or adjust their configurations, ensuring seamless scalability.


3. Consistent Performance and Reliability:


Human security personnel may experience fatigue, distractions, or variations in performance. On the other hand, robots consistently deliver reliable performance, adhering to predefined protocols and procedures.


They can maintain high levels of alertness and attention to detail, minimising the risk of human error.


Clients can have peace of mind knowing that their security operations are carried out consistently and reliably, without the potential vulnerabilities associated with human factors.


4. Comprehensive Data Collection and Analysis:


Autonomous security systems are equipped with advanced sensors and cameras that capture and analyse vast amounts of data. This data can provide valuable insights into security patterns, trends, and potential threats.


AI algorithms can process the collected data in real-time, detecting anomalies and generating alerts for further investigation.


Clients can benefit from enhanced situational awareness and evidence-based decision-making, leading to improved security outcomes.


5. Integration with Other Security Technologies:


Autonomous security technology can seamlessly integrate with other security systems, such as access control, video surveillance, and alarm systems. This integration allows for a holistic and interconnected security infrastructure, enabling efficient incident response and resource allocation.


For example, when an alarm is triggered, autonomous security systems can automatically navigate to the specific location and provide real-time video feed, aiding in immediate threat assessment.


Conclusion:


The future of manned guarding in the age of automation brings both challenges and opportunities. Robots are undoubtedly making their way into the security industry, transforming the way security operations are conducted.


However, the human element remains essential, providing the critical thinking, adaptability, and empathy required in complex security scenarios. By embracing collaboration between humans and robots, the security industry can benefit from improved efficiency, enhanced safety, and optimised security outcomes.


As the industry moves forward, it is crucial to focus on upskilling and adaptation to ensure security professionals thrive in this new era of technology and automation



 

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