March 16, 2023
Lowe’s has introduced autonomous security robots in a bid to combat retail theft and improve store safety.
The roaming robots, designed by Knightscope, are being trialed at a number of the store’s parking lots in Philadelphia, Washington State, North Carolina, Washington D.C. and California.
"Safety is more than a priority at Lowe's – it's a core value for our company,” the company said in a statement. “To continue to drive safety in our stores, select locations are receiving a new security robot as part of a pilot project."
The five-foot-tall robots are fitted with an array of 16 microphones and sensors – including lidar and sonar – to navigate their surroundings and identify potential issues, reporting any concerns back to a monitoring team. They are also equipped with thermal anomaly detection and “people detection” sensors to alert operators to potentially unwanted intruders, though do not include facial recognition, to avoid privacy concerns.
The robots make a whirring sound as they move to alert visually impaired visitors of their presence and feature a two-way communication system that allows people to call for security using the robot.
A Lowe's spokesperson has said the robots are still in the "test-and-learn phase" and have no results to share yet.
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