California Casino Recruits Security Robots

California Casino Recruits Security Robots

The West Coast resort has added two ‘bots to the force, with at least one more planned.

Pechanga Resort & Casino is leaping to the bleeding edge of autonomous security, becoming the first casino resort in the United States to deploy robots as part of their security detail.

The resort, located in Temecula, just north of the Pechanga Indian Reservation, sees security robots as a way to enhance the significant safety measures the casino already has, including thousands of cameras and a human security force of over 300 personnel.

Robert Krauss, Pechanga’s vice president for public safety, said robots are the next level, and that to keep team members and patrons safe, staying up to date with the latest technology is a must. The robots’ cameras are at eye level as well, versus peering down from overhead, changing the perspective.

“Humans pick up only so much and after a while, you might miss something,” Krauss said. “Robots don’t miss anything.”

Manufactured by Knightscope in the heart of Silicon Valley, the robots being employed by Pechanga are a tall, stationary machine and a slightly shorter wheeled robot that looks right out of Star Wars, resembling a certain blue-and-white droid. The bots are programmed to continuously capture and transmit video in a 360-degree arc, as well as using thermal imaging to detect possible problems like fires.

The smaller robot, nicknamed “Buddy,” is charged with patrolling the lobby of the casino, while “Rudy,” its stationary colleague, will stand guard outside the main valet entrance. Once the third automaton joins the force, a roving unit like “Buddy” but smaller, “Buddy” itself will be tasked with patrolling the parking garage, using its license plate recognition software to look for stolen vehicles or those wanted by police.

The robots have been leased from Knightscope for about $8 an hour, after Pechanga received a large bump to their security funding in the wake of the Las Vegas shooting in October, 2017.

Customers don’t appear to be put off by the upped security, Krauss said. People especially seem to like “Buddy.”

“People love him, they’re hugging him, high-fiving him,” Krauss said. “There are hundreds of selfies a day with him.”

About the Author

Jordan Lutke is an intern with 1105 Media.

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