On TikTok, .feralbruja posted a video clip (embedded below) of what appears to be a Dalek-shaped security robot patrolling outside of a Philadelphia-area Lowe’s.
Have you seen security droids outside your Lowe’s store yet?
A closer look reveals the robot to be a Knightscope K5, which is equipped with 360° video, 16 microphones, 4 cameras, LIDAR, sonar, GPS, text-to-speech capabilities, and speakers that play music.
Knightscope specializes in autonomous security, with pricing estimates of $0.75 to $9 an hour across their product range.
Knightscope’s autonomous security robots (ASR) are described as always trained and on time, always on their best behavior, and they follow orders consistently. Humans? Inconsistent.
Knightscope is cheeky on social media as well as on their website, with phrases such as “We LOVE humans…” in a section about public response.
Knightscope… they love humans, and humans love them! The image of a person hugging the robot comes from their careers page.
It is unclear if the robot spotted at Lowe’s is part of a trial run or limited contract.
The company announced in November 2022 that they had tripled their annualized revenue. They have been also landing new contracts and announcing new activations across the country.
If you haven’t seen one of these robots yet, you just might sometime soon.
Skynet could not be reached for comment.
Here is the video:
I for one, accept our new robotic AI overlords
I was thinking shoplifters could just give it a swift kick and be on their way, but it weighs 400 pounds.
You are better off snagging that Velodyne Puck lidar off its lid and sell that puppy for 8 grand 🙂
Someone should duct tape a plunger to one of these things.
That’s what they say on the website!
Ultrasonic detectors maybe?
I had to double check the date, thought April came early.
Ty A Knot
I’d specially request ones that chant “Exterminate!” as they patrol.
Side note, I wonder if you could program them to block a shoplifters vehicle in.
That’s a lawsuit waiting to happen. It could potentially endanger other people.
I wonder how it would react to a tarp thrown over it.?
But how fast is it
I remember talking to the manager of a Lowes store in Texas and he said they were powerless to stop people just walking out with tools.
The police weren’t interested and if they tackled the thieves themselves, they could be sued.
He kept asking to be able to lock all the power tools in cages.
Texas! I was a surprised Brit!
I think a shoot-out in the store would spoil the shopping experience for law abiding citizens.
I’ve heard comments that some of the tools ant stores are set at a higher price due to the constant theft. Also I’ve heard a lot of crack heads and organized crime groups steal for the black market of people/workers who want higher end tools at a cheaper price without doing the dirty work. I spoke with a guy who was texting a seller on a Buy/Sell app about a certain tool. The guy wasn’t interest anymore and the seller asked him what tool did he really want. The guy said “Yadayada” and the seller “Yeah… I can hook you up just give me a couple of days”. The guy said he stopped texting the seller and moved on because he was certain what the seller was going to do. The vicious cycle of supply and demand.
As a former manager that once worked in retail; it’s corporate’s decision what to do with theft generally. No way in hell would I let any of my former associates potentially get themselves selves hurt or worse. Trust me in the 40 years I worked in this industry it’s not worth it. Believe me I’ve seen it all and I’ve seen good natured people lose their jobs because of this. Even defended a couple of them over the decades and let me tell you I was one of the only managers this do this as well.
Let me be blunt; it’s not the fault of Texas rather the blame is squarely with the criminals and these corporations that are afraid of lawsuits.
As for these robots; all I will say is I am glad to be retired and old. Not a fan of these new fangled technology and I sure don’t trust to stop thieves either.
Former Sears guy here; I can tell you firsthand I saw a great deal of theft in my several decades of working there. Towards the end of my career there shortly before they went out of business was the worst with theft. We were forbidden to stop thieves and even our company paid for security was limited. There came a point when I knew whom the thieves were but they knew there was nothing I could do and the police weren’t interested either.
Saw way too much especially with Black Friday to get involved. Don’t get me wrong I never supported this and if it were up to me private security should have had full leeway.
Someone committing a crime should always be excluded from being a plaintiff in a lawsuit against an individual/employees to whom the crime is being committed against, or any good Samaritan who intervenes against the commission of the crime.
That’s an issue state legislatures could easily remedy, but they won’t. They’re too intertwined with the personal injury lawyers that benefit from these suits.
I’m a former lawyer, and my old firm did some personal injury work. I can tell you as a certainty that we had zero intertwinement with legislators. Now, the bar association has lobbyists, just like doctors, pharmacists, the construction industry, etc. do, but we basically had no awareness of what they were doing. We certainly didn’t feel like legislators were helping us at all.
If you’re interested, you can find out what the ABA’s lobbyists spent money on here:
Open Secrets is a nonprofit that tracks the influence of money in politics. As you might imagine, it’s very difficult work, and they deserve your donations!
Here in NC HD and Lowes started to lock a lot of things away.
Local Lowes has for a while mobile security stations that monitor activity and have lights placed on the parking lot accommodated by messages over speakers that Lowes takes security serious.
Still see people walking out with stuff on regular bases.
What is this thing going to do? I’m just not sure of the point…
That’s what I was wondering too. Is it just a mobile camera that can yell at you?
It’s job is to record video of shoplifters as they exit and if possible get vehicle and license plate info. Also it studies human behavior and interactions for the eventual robot take over of the human race😬
As scott said, it documents. They could program it to say something(like “please wait for an associate” or “stop, dont leave”) to someone whom it observed shoplifting. It could be programmed to follow someone through the store (intimidation?)whom its algorithm and programming determine is a suspect. If it sees a known shoplifter enter the store it could call police or tell a manager to.
What’s it’s prime directive? Do robots need CC permits? When all is well can it make balloon animals for the kids? Can it be trained to collect shopping carts from the parking lot? What’s the secret code word to make it attack?
It can’t work 168hrs a week, when does it charge and take a nap.
I want one! Cheap entertainer at $9 per hour. We can play dress up, and cops and robbers, and…
This is their version of the Walmart police parking lot monitor stations, and those mobile radar speeding signs. It’s a scarecrow for humans.
This is my lowes, and this robot is a joke. It is just a mobile security camera that gets in the way of traffic outside the store
You have 20 seconds to comply
I’d buy that for a dollar!
Their stock is down 92.5% since their IPO last year. So sticking cameras and microphones on a bot must have sounded like a good idea to some people. I fail to see the point.
Yikes that’s a fail
No it’s not…,..
Klaatu Barada Nikto
The Lowes in Alexandria, VA had a bunch of solar powered cameras cluster mounted on the light poles in their parking lot, with a round flashing blue light at the top of the assembly for security.
We’ve since moved to the Philly area. I haven’t noticed those in the store I usually go to.
There is a supermarket chain that uses a bigger robot in the interior of their stores, they call Marty that patrols the store. Supposedly the robot is there to detect spills and other hazards, but I wouldn’t be surprised it is also used for security. It can be annoying because the robot will block aisles when it stops for some reason. It is designed to stop so it doesn’t hit anyone. This being the Philly area, I also saw a couple of kids use shopping carts to corner and block the robot. It then started beeping, until an employee moved the carts.
One of them “escaped” and went into the parking lot. Here’s the link: https://www.fox29.com/news/supermarket-robot-escapes-store
Someone ducttape a toilet plunger/plumber’s helper on one and post back! Hilarity ensues!
It’s all fun and games until someone kidnaps the droid for parts or plows it over with the brush guard on their truck. I can also imagine this thing taking a tumble and rolling through the parking lot like a trash can in the wind.
Does it make me a bad person if I imagine this thing just wandering around and tasing random people? Because the more I think about it, the more it makes me laugh.
It would be great in a grocery store:
“Hey, fatso, put the donuts back and head to isle 2. The carrots are on sale.”
Given their size, mobility and visibility (with highlighted cameras to boot), I imagine they’re more for deterrence than actually nabbing a perp. If they wanted more video evidence of shoplifting, they could just install more cameras in the aisles. And as other people point out, the issue isn’t having enough evidence, it’s actually detaining the guys.
Actually having enough evidence for a stop is difficult. There are inevitably blind spots or you will get a group of people and then 1 will pocket a bunch a merchandise to draw loss preventions attention. They then end up dropping the items all while the other people are the ones actually stealing.
I would like a plain conversation on what this actually does. No way can it detect a “shoplift in progress” so it has to be instructed to photo a specific individual. And it will definitely be plowed through if it’s taking pics of license plates. What’s the replacement cost once this thing’s run over? How many times will it be demolished before the store says nevermind?
How does it stop you from taking that display item so close to the door? How does it stop a pair of thieves from loading up a cart of stuff and heading straight out the door? Are we expecting this thing to take endless video and hope it catches a thief’s face in such a clear fashion that it convinces a jury? I’m afraid this is just another flash-in-the-pan product, and another solution that doesn’t remedy the problem. Anyone else agree?
Deterrent and surveillance?
It’s a moot discussion to be had without data, which requires fielding the robots and seeing what happens.
It can easily get a clear picture of anyone’s face. And there aren’t jury trials for theft
Just wait until they connect these to Microsoft’s extraordinarily deranged AI.
I’ve seen them at our local Graton “native American” casino patrolling the parking lots. I assume they are equipped with license plate readers – to what end I can only guess.
Marty creeps me TF out. I love Giant but Marty is a drag.
Why does this Dalek-like robot need to play music? Aren’t security guards supposed to remain quiet and concentrate on their job?
Disappointing, now I can’t walk out with 2×4’s in my pants.
I give it 2-3 weeks before people start stealing the robots. Yes they probably have GPS trackers. But some enterprising thief will build a faraday cage in the back of a van, and the valuable bits will start showing up on ebay.