The robots are coming
WESTMINSTER, Colo.—The robots are coming, and they represent one of “the biggest game changers” in decades for security integrators, according to PSA Security CEO Bill Bozeman.
Sharp Electronics on May 10 announced the launch of Sharp Robotics Business Development. In the works for three years, the current focus for SRBD is developing robots for security. Its initial project is ground-based robots, which are known as UGVs or unmanned ground vehicles.
“We believe it will be a multi-billion dollar market,” Cliff Quiroga, SRBD VP & deputy general manager, told Security Systems News.
The announcement was made at PSA-TEC, PSA Security’s annual training and education event, which is taking place here this week. Sharp also announced that it is the founding sponsor of a new group called Robolliance, a “forum for technology partners and industry experts in robotics, surveillance and security to advance the understanding and awareness of the autonomous robotics marketplace."
Security industry veteran Mike Kobelin joined SRBD as director of sales in 2015.
Kobelin told SSN security robotics is “a disruptive technology that’s going to change the way security is performed and give integrators new options." The business opportunity for systems integrators is "not just to offer additional services to existing clients, it’s to bring new solutions that have never been possible,” he explained.
“The research we’ve done shows there are literally thousands of sites in the U.S., large outdoor sites, where it’s really expensive to deploy security systems,” Kobelin said. Robots will be economical and efficient in these kinds of applications, he said. “Robotic solutions will allow you to have eyes, ears, and nose anywhere you want, whenever you want.”
Robots are great at doing jobs that are “dull, dirty and dangerous,” Kobelin said.
Critical infrastructure is a natural for UGVs, but other possible applications include distribution, manufacturing, airports, military bases and data centers. Kobelin pointed out that robots are capable of collecting data, recording it, storing it, and making it available for compliance reporting.
SRBD did two years of research to determine the market opportunity for security robotics. More than 150 integrators, end users and consultants participated in the research.
SRBD expects to introduce products later this year.
PSA Security CEO Bozeman believes the move to robots will happen relatively quickly. Bozeman predicted the advent of security robotics will be as significant as the digital dialer, the move from analog to IP, and what’s currently happening with cybersecurity. "Integrators’ business models are going to have to change," he said.
“We will be in an entirely different place less than a year from now,” Bozeman said. "Products will be available to leading-edge integrators to deploy on-the-ground robots, unmanned aerial vehicles will be a little later,” he said.
Other SRBD executives include Alice DiSanto, director of marketing; Dave Lewis, AVP business development; and Scott Kwilinski, director of professional services.
Sharp Electronics Corporation is the U.S. subsidiary of Japan’s Sharp Corporation. Sharp is a global provider of home entertainment products, appliances, networked multifunctional office solutions, LED lighting, and mobile communication and information tools. Sharp and SRBD is based in Mahwah, N.J. R&D for Sharp Labs is based in Camas, Wash.