Autonomous robot security guard service to fight crime in the US

Universal Protection Service has launched a crime-fighting autonomous robot ‘Machine as a Service’ offering for US customers with security technology company Knightscope.

As part of the agreement, Knightscope’s K5 and K3 robot models – which resemble a mix of WALL-E’s EVE and R2-D2 – are immediately available to customers in Northern California, with a national roll-out slated for next year.

The robot models offer a physical presence as a strong crime deterrent, real-time video and audio, and a human interface: a real-life robot security guard.

The K5 is designed for outdoor applications including parking lots and university campuses, while the K3 model is designed for indoor security at facilities such as office towers, warehouses, distribution centres and data centres.

Knightscope K5 Autonomous Robot

Ty Richmond, Universal Services of America president of systems and technology, said: “We are excited about the continued evolution of integrating various technology applications into uniformed security operations.

“Customers require situational awareness to make informed decisions and autonomous mobile machines and devices provide another level of intelligence to accomplish that task. The partnership with Knightscope enables Universal to take an industry leading role in this new service arena.”

The company’s Machine as a Service offering is all inclusive; and Universal security officers will also be trained and certified to ensure seamless integration into existing security programmes.

Knightscope K5 Autonomous Robot predicts and prevents crime

Images courtesy of Knightscope

May the (robot) force be with you

So why are people increasingly looking towards employing robots as their personal security guards?

“Autonomous machines are purposely built for security programs seeking to increase threat management through the strategic integration of people, processes and technology,” explains Mark McCourt, vice president of enterprise services for Universal Protection Service.

“Robots are a real force multiplier by adding effectiveness and efficiency to security programs. Knightscope is the perfect partner for this new initiative.”

The companies are clearly looking to the future, and have recognised the increasing role that robots will have to play.

“The world is going to change more in the next five years than the last 50 years combined,” notes Knightscope CEO, William Santana Li. “Knightscope has built one of the most important technologies coming out of Silicon Valley and we are proud to be working in concert with Universal by integrating with existing security programs while providing new revolutionary capabilities to clients.”

Without a doubt, the robot security guard is here to stay.

Steve “Woz” Wozniak to advise hologram emoji company that he calls “groundbreaking”

Apple’s co-founder Steve “Woz” Wozniak has found himself a new gig; Woz has joined the hologram emoji company, Mojiit, as an adviser.

In his role as advisor to Mojiit, the legendary entrepreneur and engineer will help assemble a world-class engineering team in addition to bringing investors and partnerships to the newly launched startup. Wozniak will also serve as mentor to Mojiit founder, Jeremy Greene.

“I’m thrilled to join Mojiit as an advisor,” said Wozniak. “Jeremy is a natural leader, the company is groundbreaking, it’s going to change the ecommerce space, and it’s a lot of fun.”

Created in 2017, Mojiit is the latest startup technology venture from Greene. The company’s tech essentially enables users to project and share 3D hologram emojis via smartphones.

The platform turns users into emojis by scanning their face, which can then be sent to loved ones and friends. Once a Mojiit message is received, it will map the area where it is received and place the Mojiit hologram there in real time, so it works in a similar way to Pokemon Go.

“Steve is one of the best and brilliant engineers in the entire world. But outside of that, he’s a wonderful man,” said Greene. “There isn’t anyone I’d want to be in business with more than this guy. He’s a legend. Who better to learn from than the guy who created the computer?”

Image courtesy of Nichollas Harrison. Featured image courtesy of Mojiit

In addition to consumer use, businesses of all kinds can tap into hologram emojis with Mojiit’s technology.

Mojiit investors already  include NFL alum Ed Reed, and the company was able to raise a total of $1 million in its seed round of funding.

Alongside the appointment of Woz, Entourage and Ballers producer Rob Weiss recently joined the company as a creative director.

“It’s exciting to expand beyond television and film to digital platforms,” said Weiss. “Hologram technology brings incredible opportunity to entertainment and media. I’m thrilled to be leading creative at Mojiit.”

Nanoengineers send antibiotic-delivering micromotors into the body to treat cancer-causing infection

Nanoengineers have demonstrated for the first time how “micromotors” that measure half the width of a human hair can be used to transport antibiotics through the body.

Nanoengineers at the University of California San Diego tested the micromotors in mice with Helicobacter pylori infections, which can also be found in about two-thirds of the world’s population and while many people will never notice any signs of its presence it can cause peptic ulcers and stomach cancer.

The mice received the micromotors – packed with a clinical dose of the antibiotic clarithromycin – orally once a day for five consecutive days.

Afterwards, nanoengineers evaluated the bacterial count in each mouse stomach and found that treatment with the micromotors was slightly more effective than when the same dose of antibiotic was given in combination with proton pump inhibitors, which also suppress gastric acid production.

Micromotors administered to the mice swam rapidly throughout the stomach while neutralising gastric acid, which can be destructive to orally administered drugs such as antibiotics and protein-based pharmaceuticals.

Because gastric acid is so destructive to traditional antibiotics drugs used to treat bacterial infections, ulcers and other diseases in the stomach are normally taken with additional substances, called proton pump inhibitors.

But when taken over longer periods or in high doses, proton pump inhibitors can cause adverse side effects including headaches, diarrhea and fatigue. In more serious cases, they can cause anxiety or depression.

The micromotors, however, have a built-in mechanism that neutralises gastric acid and effectively deliver their drug payloads in the stomach without requiring the use of proton pump inhibitors.

“It’s a one-step treatment with these micromotors, combining acid neutralisation with therapeutic action,” said Berta Esteban-Fernández de Ávila, a postdoctoral scholar in Wang’s research group at UC San Diego and a co-first author of the paper.

The nanoengineers say that while the present results are promising, this work is still at an early stage.

To test their work, the team is planning future studies to into the therapeutic performance of the micromotors in animals and humans, and will compare it with other standard therapies used to combat stomach diseases.

UC San Diego nanoengineers also plan to test different drug combinations with the micromotors to treat multiple diseases in the stomach or in different sections of the gastrointestinal tract.

Overall, the researchers say that this work opens the door to the use of synthetic motors as active delivery platforms in the treatment of diseases.

Image and video courtesy of the Laboratory for Nanobioelectronics at UC San Diego.