Kia factory now has robot security

Kia factory in South Korea will now have Boston Dynamics Spot robotic ‘guard dog’ on patrol, will presumably give intruders more than 20 seconds to comply

Seoul, Korea – The Hyundai Motor Group (HMG), parent company of Hyundai and Kia, recently announced its first implementation of robot security patrols at a Kia factory in South Korea.

HMG has tasked Boston Dynamics quadruped robot ‘Spot’ with keeping an eye on the factory, which includes detecting intruders, fires, or open doors and other regular security tasks. You can watch Spot creep around the factory in a totally uncreepy way on YouTube here.

The robot is equipped with a thermal camera (like the Predator) and three-dimensional Lidar to enable it to do its job. The lidar, for instance, helps it identify opened doors, while the thermal camera can sense heat or fires. Once it does detect a situation, it will give intruders more than 20 seconds to comply, though it doesn’t carry any offensive weapons. Instead it phones back to security control to alert human personnel, who can then remote pilot Spot to get a closer eye on the situation.

HMG’s not just doing this for fun, of course – it’s a showcase of what robots can now do. HMG says it integrated “applied artificial intelligence (AI), autonomous navigation, teleoperation technologies, and computing payload (AI Processing Service Unit) developed by the Group’s Robotics Lab” into Spot for the new job.

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Earlier this year in June, HMG completed its acquisition of the American robotics manufacturer, whose robots are best known for doing various, strangely creepy things on YouTube. Its first commerical robot, Spot, in unmodified form, has already been spotted in Singapore telling park-goers to keep the heck away from each other.

If Spot is asked to arrest a senior officer of HMG, what happens?

Of course this sounds like some Singaporean bureaucrat’s dream, don’t worry, it’s already happening here: Earlier in September, the Home Team announced the deployment of robots – dubbed Xavier – to help curb ‘undesirable social behaviours’. It’s not known whether Xavier can stop taxi drivers talking about certain topics, though.

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Derryn Wong
CarBuyer's chief editor has a keen interest in all things mechanical, technological, animal and mineral. He's particularly fascinated by eco-cars and cars which make no logical sense. An avid motorcyclist and photographer, he also enjoys cats. Follow him on Instagram @werryndong