Sometimes you never know what’s going to happen next.

When one of our security guards arrived for what was supposed to be a fairly routine shift at a prominent music academy, he couldn’t have known that by the end of the day he’d be soaking wet and working with other employees to save a Grand Piano from an unexpected flood.

In an instant, he had to switch from trained security guard to piano rescuer.

Would a security robot have the decision-making and physical abilities to save such a heavy and valuable instrument for the client?

Still on the topic of water, the fate of a security robot in Washington DC fountain has drawn its fair share of laughs and commentary about security robot limitations.

The K5 security robot falls in a fountainImage source:, Melissa Morales.

The K5 security robot was patrolling a park outside offices when it effectively “drowned” after it rolled too close to a water fountain and fell in.

But jokes aside, Knightscope, which makes the K5, say that its six-foot machine that weighs nearly 100kg can patrol places that would usually put a security guard’s safety at risk.

The K5 has successfully patrolled under dangerous bridges in San Francisco, public car park criminal hots spots and also through homeless camps.

Of course, using robots to perform high-risk tasks instead of humans is a good thing. The military bots that detect and detonate Improved Explosive Devices (IEDs) are one excellent example of where it’s better to have a robot doing extremely dangerous jobs than someone’s loved one.

Security robots are also effective in handling some of the more routine security work that rarely requires any deviation from ‘business as usual’. Using robots can help keep costs down and improve business efficiencies so staff can get on with more strategic work.

Yet even with some incredible Artificial Intelligence (AI) advancements, there are many situations, including in security, where a human security guards are preferable.

Clients like security guards with a human touch

A security robot like the K5 may (providing it stays away from water) effectively patrol outside a business’ building. But we know clients who want to be able to look their security guards in the eye and say “good morning” when they arrive at work.

These clients understand that in an unexpected situation, our security guards know and care enough about a client’s employees and its business to make the right decision.

Event security guards have inter-personable skills

Another area where security still needs the human touch is event security work. We provide event security guards for different occasions, including corporate events, public festivals and sports events.

A robot might be a fun novelty and effectively ‘meet and greet’ guests and check tickets. But human security guards can offer so much more.

At the very least, they can provide that extra level of service — spot someone who looks a bit lost and ask if they need help. Give someone a hand with their bags or open a door for them.

On a more significant level, they can help make sure everyone has a good time while staying safe.

At a party, they can subtly have a word with the bar tender when they identify guests who are getting too intoxicated. In large gatherings at risk of crowd surges, they can spot the most vulnerable areas and people. And when an argument breaks out, they are trained to use specific inter-personable skills to safely diffuse the situation.

Robots can play a huge and important part in the security industry. But a human touch is still needed to assure people that they will be protected, especially during the unexpected.