Cobalt Robotics Inc. today announced an enterprise mobile video chat feature for its robots for facility security and reception workflows. The Fremont, Calif.-based company said organizations can now use its systems to connect with staffers and visitors through real-time video. It added that they can communicate securely wherever the robot is patrolling, with management and backup from Cobalt's Command Center.
“As employers navigate the return to the office, security, uniform access control, and consistent communications for all employees, regardless of location, is paramount,” stated Mike LeBlanc, chief operating officer of Cobalt Robotics. “Cobalt is fulfilling a critical gap for businesses that need round-the-clock security and facility maintenance tasks complete. These are often repetitive, mundane tasks like checking doors and alarms that can be automated, so guards can spend time on jobs that require empathy, judgment, and creativity.”
“Our service also provides more consistent data, historical analysis, and detailed reporting to organizations,” he added. “We are excited to add new features like enterprise mobile video chat so large enterprises can make communications and access control for a distributed workforce smooth and help employees feel connected as they transition back to physical offices.”
Cobalt offers unified security
Large corporations often require guard posts that need to be staffed all 168 hours per week to protect their personnel and facilities, noted Cobalt Robotics. These posts are hard positions to fill, with high costs and turnover rates and costs, and they often don’t deliver the desired levels of security. This results in large gaps in a security program, particularly on nights and weekends, said the company.
In addition, much of the security and facility checklists required of guards can be more efficiently and affordably accomplished by a robot, according to Cobalt Robotics.
Cobalt said its robotics-as-a-service (RaaS) offering unifies robots, machine learning software, and human oversight. It said the service can get an annotated picture of an organization’s facility at all inspection points.
The company claimed that its service can improve safety, security, and facility workflows with greater efficiency and predictability at substantially reduced costs. This allows guards to focus on tasks that require judgment, empathy, and decision making, it said.
Leading enterprises including General Motors and Slack use Cobalt's top-to-bottom automation in their workplaces.
Robots provide security as a service
Cobalt said its mobile robots have more than 60 sensors, including day-night cameras, 360-degree cameras, thermal cameras, depth cameras, lidar, and badge-reading capabilities. They can autonomously patrol and continuously collect data throughout a facility, providing customers with Daily Security Reports (DSRs) and actionable real-time information.
The company said each of its “state-of-the-art” robots uses machine learning, semantic mapping, and novelty detection to independently identify and flag security-relevant anomalies like people, sounds, motion, doors and windows and missing assets. Each robot has a screen for communication between remote security specialists and on-site staffers.
Cobalt's robots also use machine learning for tasks such as enforcing closed-door policies. For example, its algorithm can ingest a sufficient amount of data to accurately identify an open door.
When the robot identifies a door that should be closed as being open, the picture is escalated to and confirmed by a security specialist in Cobalt’s command center as an added layer of redundancy. The incident is then escalated to the customer according to pre-specified criteria.
In the event of a security incident, Cobalt’s security specialists can provide human assistance for complex situations. They will triage the incident, contact appropriate personnel, and report back to the security team 24/7/365, based on collaboratively established post orders. The service provider's team can also provide two-way video from the robot to greet employees, request badge credentials, and ensure guest check-in.
Video chat adds connectivity
Cobalt Robotics said its new enterprise mobile video chat enables clients to connect visitors and workers entering their offices, whether it’s a satellite or launchpad, directly with a receptionist or security officer from the main corporate office for any concerns or questions. If that person is unavailable, they are automatically routed to Cobalt’s Command Center.
With Cobalt's integrated robotics service, a large enterprise can now handle reception for dozens of satellite offices via live video calls. The company added that its specialists are available for 24/7 backup from its SOC2-compliant (System and Organization Controls) Global Security Operations Center (GSOC).
Large enterprises with satellite offices scattered across the country still need to maintain high levels of security, communications, and availability to people entering their buildings. Cobalt said its new enterprise mobile video chat makes connections to an organization’s headquarters easy and more personal for all employees to stay better connected with one another.
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