Pima Community College (PCC) in Arizona will employ a robot to provide security assistance for students and employees when in-person classes recommence this fall.
The egg-shaped security robot on wheels will act as an on-campus mobile security camera, first alarm, and emergency call box. It is programmed to patrol high traffic areas.
The information that the high-tech machine collects will be transmitted to the PCC Police Department and be used as evidence in the event of an emergency.
“The robot patrols our campus 24-7/365,” Commander Ricardo Gutierrez said. “It could alert us to the person being on campus after hours. It also has the capability where a student or staff member could go up to the robot and press a button on it to notify our dispatcher that someone needs assistance.”
A Pima spokesperson said it costs $80,000 annually to lease the robot from the American security camera company, Knightscope.
Students React to Robot Security
PCC Police Department Chief Buddy Janes said he has seen many students and employees videotaping the machine – an indication that people like the new upgrade.
Student Marcos Soza admitted that it took him a while to get comfortable with the newly-deployed robot. “When I first saw it, it creeped me out. It creeped me out so much and I wanted to go a little bit close to them but it’s like no, let’s have it come to me first and then let’s see what it really is,” he explained.
Another student described the development as “normal” since the world already relies so heavily on technology.
Other Colleges Make Use of Robots
Brookdale Community College announced last year that it will be using two robots to assist in disinfecting the campus against COVID-19.
The high-tech machines are equipped with UVC light, which will break down the DNA and RNA structure of microorganisms.
Ohlone College in California will also be using a contact-free thermal scanner that can speed up the process of checking people entering and leaving the campus this fall.
The AXSIS™ Thermal Enabled Digital Hub can be integrated with door locks and has the ability to detect face masks.