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Lowe’s Deploying 400-Pound Robots to Patrol Its Parking Lots

Retailer is running a multi-state experiment with the autonomous robots, which look for “known threats.”

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A Knightscope security robot reports for duty at a Texas lubricant manufacturer. Courtesy of Knightscope

A major retailer is hoping the ultimate solution to preventing crime at its stores is hefty and egg-shaped.

Lowe’s (Mooresville, NC) is enlisting 400-pound security robots from a company called Knightscope to patrol parking lots at select stores, The Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

The robot rollout is a test the hardware retailer began in February. Stores in Pennyslvania, Washington state, California, North Carolina and Washington, D.C., are included in the pilot program.

Knightscope’s K5 model is equipped with 16 microphones, four wide-angle cameras and a range of “people detection” sensors that detect anomalies, which are then reported to Lowe’s central monitoring team, the article says.

Stacy Stephens, executive vice president and chief client officer at Knightscope, told the outlet that while the K5 can detect a human being, it doesn’t have facial recognition. “They can see a person, but not who it is,” he said.

Stephens added that the autonomous robots are “looking for known threats, people to whom you’ve issued criminal trespass warnings, terminated employees or domestic abusers.”

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“Safety is more than a priority at Lowe’s — it’s a core value for our company. To continue to drive safety in our stores, select locations are receiving a new security robot as part of a pilot project,” Scott Draher, vice president of asset protection and safety at Lowe’s, told Business Insider. “This pilot is part of Lowe’s continuing efforts to utilize new and innovative technologies to keep our associates and customers safe.”

Read more at The Philadelphia Inquirer.

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