A New Kind of Employee

A New Kind of Employee

More than 22 years ago, Steve Reinharz decided he wanted to become part of the security industry. He stepped into his first integration at a local gas station. He became a dealer for Pelco security solutions, installed a group of analog cameras and was well on his way to becoming a security integrator. In 2016, he stepped away from his duties as a security integrator, and started looking for something new to do.

“I bought it, sold it and installed it...all of it,” said Reinharz, who founded Security Zone Inc. many years ago, and grew it from a oneman team to an operation of more than 30 employees before moving on.

Then, things changed. Reinharz chose robotics.

His thinking of getting into the robotics field was a little unconventional, but then Reinharz isn’t your standard, everyday sort of guy. He is a thinker and a visionary. What he saw more than 20 years ago is only now becoming an accepted form of security multiplied with a robot.

Reinharz is the founder and CEO of Robotic Assistance Devices (RAD), where he oversees the development, sales and marketing, and strategic vision for the company. He has extensive knowledge of a diverse portfolio of technologies, developing practical, effective solutions for end-user customers. As CEO of RAD, Reinharz leverages his extensive knowledge and interest in robotics and artificial intelligence to design and develop robotic solutions that increase business efficiency and deliver cost savings.

The vision for technology started early for Reinharz, by spending the summer of his eighteenth birthday writing a textbook for artificial intelligence, then selling it to schools. He sold 400 copies. All of his experiences have led him to this point in life where he has become immersed in robotic security services, and the master distributor of SMP Robotics.

Robots and AI seemed to go hand in hand with what Reinharz had in mind when he imagined his next phase in the security industry. He saw the robots on the Internet and imagined that they could be a new security device. And wouldn’t you know it, he was right. The robot has become a force multiplier for manned security service companies.

“The robot and software roadmap really fit our needs in the security industry,” Reinharz said. “We see this part of the industry growing quickly. For RAD, we provide rental robots that are tethered to the customer; we offer the warranty, and maintenance agreement and a monthly rental.”

The customer gets a competent “new employee” that can handle any kind of terrain and threat without the worry of loss of human life. The robots are constantly monitored, can work in all types of weather conditions. They are a strong part of the guarding business, and somewhat serve as an extension of human guards that are connected to the security operations center (SOC). In any event that there might be an outside interaction with the robot, the SOC would be notified instantly. This would not necessarily be a face-to-face meeting as the robot would stop when a suspect is found, and uses its audio equipment component to confront that person.

“These drones are non-lethal, non-human damaging,” Reinharz said. “The robots mimic human guards. They spot people, can issue automated audible messages, can engage the SOC to transmit and receive two-way voice messages. What the robots don’t do is escalate difficult situations where human emotion can take a non-event and make it into a headline news event.”

And, they do get around with ease.

RAD has entered into an agreement with Romeo Power to outfit the SMP Robotics S5 Security Guard Robot with Romeo’s lithium-ion battery packs. RAD will exclusively use Romeo’s power solution and similarly Romeo will only supply RAD as their exclusive security robot partner. The addition of Romeo Power battery packs to the RAD robotics solution delivers 12 hours of continuous operation regardless of terrain or climate, and Romeo Power’s advanced battery packs also allows four continuous years of use without replacement.

“This advanced battery from Romeo allows our autonomous security robot to patrol for longer periods of time, increasing its efficiency and operational success,” Reinharz said. “As we gear up to deploy more advanced robotic solutions to the market, the battery life and power will be a critical feature we can offer to end users.

“Additionally, Romeo Power is an ideal technology partner as it leads the charge in developing power solutions that drives today’s modern technology deployments.

As part of the company’s alliance, Romeo Power has deployed two S5 autonomous security guard robots at its Vernon, CA, headquarters, to patrol the company’s 113,000-square-foot manufacturing facility and surrounding property.

“We are excited to have the opportunity to partner with RAD to help increase safety, enhance productivity and control access to our facility,” said Michael Patterson, CEO and founder, Romeo Power.

“Furthermore, our partnership with RAD will allow us to further refine our lithium-ion battery packs for future use and allow us to garner data from the artificial intelligence market, which is expanding at a rapid rate.”

RAD has commenced to deploy robots to end users, and to date has reservations for 62 robots for total contract values of approximately $6 million. The company is now deploying multiple robots per month. The robot is an all-terrain vehicle and can travel on most surfaces. It also operates up to 12 continuous hours before it needs to be recharged. It is a rear-wheel drive vehicle, made of fiberglass and a steering mechanism on the front wheels.

This is a different kind of employee. The robot is supposed to blend in with the human resources, adding technology to the mix. It is available to the end user directly, or an integrator can partner with RAD, participating in recurring monthly revenue. SMP is able to build as many as 25 robots per month.

“These days, there isn’t anything you can’t do,” said Leo Ryzhenko, CEO of SMP. “There are challenges but you just have to figure out how to do it.”

It is probably a good thing that Reinharz and Ryzhenko are partners. They’ve figured out a way to make the technology work and put it to good use. Their product is just a different kind of employee.

This article originally appeared in the April 2018 issue of Security Today.

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