Most organizations today use electronic access control systems to help protect their facilities. These systems can protect the entrances of buildings and specific higher-security areas inside. To enter these controlled areas, employees, contractors and visitors typically carry credentials—such as badges or other identification—that allow them access. However, even with the most secure access control systems, uncredentialed people sometimes make their way into a controlled area. It might be an authorized employee who has forgotten their ID card but it could also be an intruder with harmful intentions.
Since unauthorized entries can happen at any time, it is essential for organizations to monitor the controlled areas of their facilities both during and after business hours. Beyond access control violations, there could be a water leak, spill or other safety issue that can arise and needs to be attended to immediately. The more controlled spaces there are, the more vulnerabilities are present and the greater the exposure to risk.
Video surveillance, sensors and alarm systems are typically used to monitor buildings and alert authorities to any issues in both public spaces and controlled areas. Many businesses hire security officers to patrol the premises as well. While all of these solutions can be effective, they also have limitations. Security officers may miss or overlook signs of an issue that human senses cannot detect. On the other hand, sensors, alarm systems and cameras are immobile and can only provide information on the issues that are within their physical coverage area.
Today’s security leaders and providers are thinking beyond traditional solutions to find new and better ways to keep their controlled spaces safe and secure. With the advancement of robotics technology, more and more organizations are discovering the many benefits that robots can deliver to enhance security operations.
Security robots, like the ones we make at Cobalt, patrol autonomously on full alert, never tire and stay focused on the tasks they are programmed to do. They detect and flag anomalies immediately and without bias. With humans in the loop—like Cobalt’s dedicated security specialists who remotely manage each robot—quick assessment of potential incidents help reduce false alarms and, when verified issues do occur, immediate alerts to on-site security teams on verified incidents help focus personnel where they are needed most. For these and many other reasons, robots have the potential to drive transformation for physical security applications.
Still, in order to patrol a facility including access-controlled areas, security robots need to be able to get through all the doors in the building. This is why we launched Cobalt Access, the first door-integration robotics solution to the industry. Using Bluetooth technology, Cobalt robots can now communicate with and move through automated access-controlled doorways. This is particularly vital since often the controlled sections of a building are the most sensitive, with the highest vulnerability to risk and threats. Through this integration, data centers, manufacturing floors and other sensitive areas can be protected in addition to public areas in the building. It’s a fundamental concept, but one that has not previously been addressed by any provider.