|Vigilant MCP – Gamma2 Robotics|
While debate continues to rage about the threat of autonomous “killer robots,” the mechanized replacement of humans continues across the workforce. In fact, the robotics industry notched record sales in the first half of 2014 in North America, and there appears to be no indications of a slowdown.
Security robots have become a special area of interest for developers. Britain recently unveiled its first robot security guard. “Bob” is the outcropping of a worldwide initiative into robotic security set to appear at prisons, care facilities, schools, or perhaps a neighborhood near you.
A U.S. robot called Vigilant MCP (Mobile Camera Platform) can be seen in the following video. The robot is being produced exclusively in the U.S. and is set to ramp up to mass production as orders demand. At $4 per hour fixed cost, it could significantly impact the 1.5 million humans that are currently employed in some form of security patrol.
For professional security workers, the robot could pose a major threat to employment, as it offers key improvements for employers over flesh and blood workers.
“Robots never quit, and they don’t call in sick. They are cost-effective at an average of $4 an hour fixed cost,” explained Gamma 2 Robotics in a company video.
The cost savings can go further – unlike human workers, with the Vigilant MCP employers won’t have to shell out for background checks or drug screening, and won’t even need to leave the lights on as the robot will work happily in the dark. (Source)
For now, this model is slated to fulfill typical night watchman duties. However, it continues to highlight how the low operating cost of bots is bound to replace entire sectors of the economy while opening the door for yet another potentially dystopian scenario of weaponized patrol that is given increasingly free rein to operate without even minimal human oversight.