PatrolBot from ActivMedia Robotics rolled up awareness at the recent BuilConn exposition. It can integrate security, building control and communication systems.
In the classic 1987 sci-fi movie, Robocop, we watched this unimaginable part-man, part-robot take on and defeat crime and corruption in a futuristic Detroit. Today, many companies are working feverishly to invent a true robot guard – a real-life apparatus designed to perform the basic functions of a security officer and much more.

Just how close are we to seeing such robot guards patrolling our warehouses, factories, malls and other places of business? According to one Japanese firm, developing a robotic security agent may just be on the horizon.

A QRIO biped is from Sony Electronics.
According to company reports, a robotic security agent dubbed, "Robo-Guard" was able to reach a specific floor using an elevator. Once it reached the designated floor, the robot patrolled the floor automatically and, remarkably, was able to demonstrate the automated exchange of its own battery. This ability, to exchange its own power source, would permit the robot to operate virtually 24/7 without any significant downtime for battery recharge.

One of the key safety functions of a human security officer is to detect and respond to fires. Well, guess what: Robo-Guard, in this experiment, detected a fire from a cigarette lighter, and with its operator’s assistance, was able to use a fire extinguisher.

Next, Robo-Guard moved to the elevator, and using its robotic eye, was able to engage the control panel to have the elevator stop at the correct floor to pick it up. And, once inside the elevator, the robotic security agent was able to press the proper button to continue its patrol at the next location.

What makes this all even more noteworthy is that this is simply a prototype robot. The designers have stated that their goal is to make Robo-Guard even smaller, more reliable, durable and faster. For more details on Robo-Guard, visit

For those of you interested in robotic home security, don’t worry. In a news release, Sanyo, in conjunction with Tmsuk, announced their "new and improved" Banryu home robot.

Banryu, which means "guard-dragon," takes on a look of an ancient reptile, but with a futuristic twist. In addition to being designed to travel in the confined, cluttered spaces of a home, this unique robot has an odor-sensor, which will enable Banryu to detect a burnt scent known to occur in the air preceding a fire.

Also, in addition to its odor sensor, Banryu will be equipped with an infrared sensor, a sonic sensor and a temperature sensor. It will also feature three modes of operation – super-remote control mode, guard-dragon mode, and even a pet mode. For more details on Banryu, visit

This extraordinary technology can perhaps be appropriately and responsibly harnessed to enhance security and safety at our military bases, seaports, airports, borders, prisons, critical infrastructure, security checkpoints and more.

It is not beyond the realm of reasonable possibility that police officers of the future, for instance, will be issued a robotic partner, a sort of real-life Robocop, to help locate missing children and endangered adults, recognize contraband, interpret diverse languages, catalog DNA, fingerprints and biometric samples, detect explosives, biohazards and other weapons of mass destruction, track bloodthirsty felons, and adroitly enter perilous situations without risk to their human counterparts.

Robotic technology, and its unparalleled applications, can only be bounded by our vigorous imagination and hearty daring.