Lowe's parking lots are now patrolled by robots, they look like the villains from 'Doctor Who'
Lowe's is testing 400-pound (182 kg) autonomous guard robots from robotics company Knightscope to patrol parking lots in some of its stores to improve security. The edition told in more detail Business Insider.
“Safety is more than a priority for Lowe's, it's a core value of our company. In order to continue to provide security in our stores, a new security robot has been installed at some locations as part of a pilot project,” explained Scott Draher, vice president of protection and security. "This pilot project is part of Lowe's efforts to use innovative technologies to keep our employees and customers safe."
Lowe's said it began testing the Knightscope K5 robots in Philadelphia in February. It also runs pilot projects in Washington DC, North Carolina, Washington DC, and California.
Several TikTok users have posted videos of the robots patrolling Lowe's parking lots, comparing them to the popular Doctor Who villains Dalek.
@rt531949Lowe's Parking Lot Security Robot 🤖♬ original sound – Rob
Stacey Stevens, Knightscope's executive vice president and chief account officer, says the robots are "looking for threats, people who have been issued trespass warnings, fired employees or abusers." The robots are not meant to replace security guards, but to help companies with situational awareness and criminal prosecution, Stevens said.
Lowe's decision to test these autonomous robots comes as retailers are sounding the alarm about an increase in theft. Walmart CEO Doug McMillon said in December 2022 that stores would close and prices would rise if the theft rate did not decrease. According to a 2022 study by the National Retail Federation, theft has become a $94,5 billion retail problem.
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However, other retailers stopped reporting the theft. Walgreens chief financial officer James Kehoe said in January that the company was "complaining too much" about theft in 2022.
For its part, Lowe's already hides many of its power tools. And in December 2022, the company announced the Project Unlock initiative, in which it will use point-of-sale activation technology to stop stolen power tools from working.
@.feralbruja They might want to give this thing the night off in case the Eagles win or lose later. In memory of HitchBOT. 🙏🏻 🤖 #southphilly #birdgang #gobirds #robot #securitybreach #lowerhomeimprovement ♬ original sound – CRIS ☨ INAMARIA
Knightscope, founded in 2013, has clients in everything from law enforcement to commercial real estate to schools. The company made headlines in 2016 after one of its robots ran over a 16-month-old baby in California. The company called the incident a "bizarre accident."
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