An autonomous robot security system, developed by Knightscope, will be used in US casinos owned and operated by PENN Entertainment, including Hollywood Casino at Greektown in Detroit.
The announcement of a deal between the two companies comes on the heels of two high-profile security breaches at casinos owned by Caesars and MGM Resorts.
So … what exactly are these robots?
Knightscope autonomous K5 robots navigate an environment and gather security information to assist venue security personnel. And, the robot, which is typically as large as 4 to 5 feet in height, can move freely. Also, it is capable of sharing data in real time to help eliminate security threats.
The robots can “view” in a 360-degree manner at all times, even in the dark. And, they are equipped with “sensitive 16-microphone array with two-way audio functionality allowing humans to have a live conversation with another human using [the robot] as the communication medium.”
According to PENN and reporting by Yahoo! Finance, the first autonomous robots are operating at the M Resort Spa Casino in Nevada. Later deployments will follow at PENN’s Ameristar Casino Hotel Council Bluffs in Iowa, as well as its Hollywood Casino Aurora in Illinois.
Locally, PENN owns and operates the Hollywood Greektown Casino. The company did not respond to inquiries about autonomous robots potentially being used at that location in the future. But reporting indicates the robots will eventually be present at all 43 PENN properties nationwide.
The Knightscope website touts the efficiency of their robot solutions, writing that its clients “need superhuman capabilities to fight crime.” And, they company says its mission “is to make the United States of America the safest country on the planet.”
Robot Security will greet customers at Hollywood Casino Greektown
The K5 robots, called “ASRs” for Autonomous Security Robots, will greet customers and roam throughout the PENN gaming facilities.
Security at casinos was thrust into the news this month after MGM and Caesars-owned gaming facilities were attacked by hackers in a ransomware breach. Allegedly, Caesars paid a ransom to a hacker organization calling itself “Scattered Spider.” MGM, including MGM Grand Detroit struggled to regain full functionality for more than a week. The hack impacted hotel reservation systems, gaming loyalty programs, ATMs, email, and even the company websites.
Last week, MGM Grand Detroit reported that operations were normal at its casino.
“PENN Entertainment’s commitment to safety and the guest experience is extraordinary,” said Knightscope chairman and CEO William Santana Li in a relase. “We are overjoyed that we will be providing Knightscope technologies across its portfolio to protect the surge of guests arriving and departing from all of its properties daily.”
Knightscope was founded in 2013 jointly by Li and Stacy Dean Stephens. Its offices are in Silicon Valley, and they have more than three dozen employees.
Notably, Knightscope was founded out of tragedy. The company launched in response to the horrific Sandy Hook school shootings, and the Boston Marathon bombing. Those events occurred within four months of each other in 2012-2013.
Specifically, the company deployed its first ASRs in 2015. It claims its products have worked “more than 2 million hours” with clients, including law enforcement. Its website lists seven types of autonomous robots in its product line.