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Will drones take off within security?

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Wednesday, August 7, 2019

The role of robotics within security continues to increase, as the technology can act as a force multiplier, expand the scope and effectiveness of security around and within a perimeter, including everything from small to expansive areas. Drones, for example, have come a long way in just a couple of years, and are starting to be used in commercial and industrial senarios, as well as in and around home.

With drone technology advancing at a fast rate, FAA regulations loosening, and more accessible off-the-shelf solutions available, we may be at a turning point when it comes to increased adoption of drones within security, according to a recent whitepaper, Drones in Security & Surveillance, by FlytBase, an enterprise drone automation company.

“The physical security market is primed for drone automation and scaling — the time, cost and safety benefits of autonomous drone fleets can create significant business value for this industry,” FlytBase CEO Nitin Gupta, said in the announcement of the white paper. “Drone patrols will augment human guards and enable security agencies, risk managers, security directors, system integrators and other stakeholders to make faster, better decisions for real-time incident response, remote security operations, event management, disaster response and more.”

The ability to deploy in a multitude of 24/7 security and surveillance use-cases is helping to drive increased demand and adoption of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), said Flytbase, noting that UAVs address many user/customer pain points, including:
     •    High turnover of security guards;
     •    Operations at night and in hostile scenarios;
     •    Surveillance of hard-to-reach locations;
     •    Liabilities associated with human and helicopter patrols;
     •    CCTV blind spots; and
     •    Need for real-time situational awareness in emergencies, etc.

“The time for aerial security is now ripe because the prosumer drone market has matured so rapidly in the last few years that commercial-off-the-shelf drones can be used commercially, instead of (expensive, monolithic, low reliability) custom drones, in all but the most demanding security and surveillance use-cases,” according to the white paper. “The physical security market is one of the most compelling target segments for the commercial drone industry. As automation technology is adopted for industrial and commercial security, drone fleets will play a central role, given that they can be deployed autonomously, at scale.” 

The two obvious obstacles for driving broad adoption of drones in aerial security use-cases tended to be:
     •    Hardware (battery life, sensor quality, flight stability, etc.); and
     •    Regulation (especially for beyond visual-line-of-sight i.e. BVLOS operations)

However, these are now turning enablers, with the emergence of:
     •    Reliable, off-the-shelf drones that are affordable and programmable; and
     •    FAA integrated pilot programs, EVLOS relaxations, Part 107 certifications and UAS Remote ID.

As UAV regulations mature, security agencies in particular are expected to rapidly   adopt drones to substantially reduce their operating costs, improve perimeter coverage and awareness, and to minimize occupational, health and safety risks to human guards.  Despite a variety of relevant use-cases, the enterprise adoption of drones in this sector remains at the proof-of-concept and pilot stage; for production deployments to become widespread, three enablers are needed:

     1.    Drone-in-a-box hardware that is cost-effective and yet reliable;
     2.    SaaS solutions that automate drones, are scalable and yet hardware-agnostic; and
     3.    Integrated offerings that require low investment, & hence pay back in < 1 year.

“For VLOS and EVLOS security operations, the drone-in-a-box requirement is less critical,” the white paper noted. “Thus, security agencies, domain consultants, drone  system integrators, managed service providers and end users can all get started with off-the-shelf, prosumer-grade drones and existing SaaS offerings, and eventually add docking stations and charging pads to their autonomous drone security operations.”

Click here for the complete white paper.

Anti-drone technology takes flight

 - 
Wednesday, March 15, 2017

With drone technology gaining traction within the security space, it only makes sense that the discussion includes anti-drone technology, as the issues of privacy and rules and regulations regarding flight restrictions must come into play.

At this year’s ISC West in April, for example, the show’s inaugural Unmanned Security Expo—which has its own section of the show floor with a “flying cage” featuring ground-based robots and aerial drones in action—will also include an education portion addressing topics such as anti-drone technologies and drone use in law enforcement.

Many security companies have already developed or are developing anti-drone technology, ranging from machine-gun looking devices that can block communications and knock a drone from the sky, to technology that intercepts the drone’s signal, assuming control, so to speak.

The government is getting involved, of course; the Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate, Program Executive Office Unmanned Aerial Systems (PEO UAS), recently sent out a “request for information for participation” or RFIP, which “seeks technology solutions that are capable of detecting, identifying, and tracking, and identifying small unmanned aerial systems (SUAS) that are perceived as threats to people or critical infrastructure to participate in the DHS S&T 2017 Technical Assessment of Counter Unmanned Aerial Systems (C-UAS) Technologies in Cities (herein called TACTIC).”

DHS S&T established the Program Executive Office for Unmanned Aerial Systems (PEO UAS) to lead DHS efforts in guiding, advising and enabling technology solutions in this area, and as part of this RFIP invites industry, academia, and other government organizations to submit applications addressing innovative technology solutions for assessment during TACTIC.

This is certainly an interesting time as we enter into the robotics as a service (RaaS) era within security. In our recent news poll, many respondents commented that they see great potential for drone and other robotic technology within security; many agreed that it is just a matter of how quickly these technologies are adopted.

 

Drones and robots are headed to ISC West 2017

Unmanned security to be a topic in years to come as well
 - 
03/15/2017

LAS VEGAS—Drones and robots will have a notable presence at ISC West 2017 with the show’s inaugural Unmanned Security Expo @ ISC West.

TechSec Solutions 2017 keynote: Drones, robots and things that go bump in the night

Nightingale Security’s Jack Wu discusses drones in security, along with a live stream demo
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03/01/2017

DELRAY BEACH, Fla.—Attendees of TechSec Solutions 2017 started the first morning of the conference here with a look into one drone company, and how the technology could innovate the physical security market, making for cheaper, better and faster solutions.

News Poll: Drones are mostly for the commercial space

Respondents divided on when drones will take hold
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03/01/2017

YARMOUTH, Maine—More companies in the security space have been looking at drones; Alarm.com announced its drones at CES 2017 and Sunflower Labs recently outlined a structure for autonomous drones in the residential sector. Security Systems News readers shared their views of the technology in SSN’s latest news poll.

Alarm.com to develop drones

Aerial robotics will work in tandem with company’s new data fusion engine
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01/19/2017

TYSONS, Va.—Alarm.com announced at CES in January that it will develop drone applications for smart home and business security that work in tandem with the Qualcomm Snapdragon Flight Drone Platform, and with the company’s newly developed Insights Engine, a multi-sensor learning capability that recognizes and proactively responds to unexpected activity around a property.

New tech in residential security: Drones?

Company looks to provide autonomous drones for home awareness
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11/16/2016

PALO ALTO, Calif.—Sunflower Labs is working on smart lights that have sensors built-in to talk with an autonomous drone that will then fly to take a video of any suspicious activity.

The robots are coming

Sharp Robotics Business Development is developing robots for security; Sharp is also founding sponsor of new Robolliance group
 - 
05/11/2016

WESTMINSTER, Colo.—The robots are coming, and they represent one of “the biggest game changers” in decades for security integrators, according to PSA Security CEO Bill Bozeman.

New Orleans considers drones

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12/11/2015

NEW ORLEANS—After two recent shooting deaths, both amidst large crowds, the New Orleans police department said it is looking into drones for crowd surveillance.

Drones have a place in security

SSN poll: 71 percent think drones are good for business
 - 
11/20/2015

YARMOUTH, Maine—Drones have applications in physical security, according to 76 percent of respondents to Security Systems News’ latest poll. In fact, about half of poll respondents said they are working with drones already.

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