A New Kind of Employee
- By Ralph C. Jensen
- Apr 01, 2018
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
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.