Past, Present, and Future of Robots & Drones for Physical Security

In anticipation of GSX, we sat down with presenters of upcoming sessions in order to get a better understanding of the topics at hand. This week we are featuring, “Past, Present, and Future of Robots & Drones for Physical Security,” presented by Travis Deyle, CEO at Cobalt Robotics. Read on for what he had to say and don’t forget to register for GSX 2023!

Q: Tell us about your presentation and why should security professionals have this topic on their radar? 

A: The history of robotics & automation harkens back to military conflict – from automated weapons systems, operational efficiencies, and remote command & control infrastructure. While the physical devices are the tangible “tip of the spear,” the real force multiplier is the software that coordinates & manages these systems to automate key workflows – and those same innovations are now a potent tool for civilian security programs as well. 

In this talk, we’ll look at the past, present, and future of mobile robots for safety & security applications. We’ll talk about the technology and operational considerations driving today’s adoption, use cases & deployment models, and near-term technology inflections such as manipulation (e.g., to address doors & elevators) and robust outdoor campus-area networks (e.g., 5G and satellite internet connectivity) that will further accelerate their adoption. Finally, we will take a look at automation in other areas of shared services (janitorial, hospitality, retail, landscaping, and more) to learn how security-adjacent services are also benefiting from the very same trends.  

Q: What advice would you give security professionals interested in this topic? 

A: Security programs are being stretched beyond their limits: Economic Downturn & Cost-Cutting, Rising Wages, Great Resignation, and Unbilled Overtime. The only practical solution to maintain or enhance security programs is through technology & automation.  

Q: How do you see this issue evolving in the next 2-5 years? 

A: Camera systems are a historical mainstay & are getting better by the day, but they have fundamental limitations. Mobile robots are a relatively new tool — whether indoor, outdoor, or aerial — that are evolving rapidly to provide better coverage & superhuman capabilities. And a host of new software suites are helping organizations manage assets (humans, technology, & software) to automate key workflows, provide better duty of care, and manage a distributed global footprint.  

Q: Why do you attend GSX? 

A: GSX is an ideal location for practitioners and vendors to meet, collaborate, and share hard-won insights as we look to make the world more safe, secure & productive.