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What’s that robot doing at Irvine Spectrum? It’s on security guard patrol

Knightscope co-founder and Chief Executive William Santana Li shows two of the company’s robot models. The Irvine Co. recently began testing a Knightscope K5 security robot at the Irvine Spectrum Center mall.
(File photo | Los Angeles Times)

If you thought you saw a robot roaming the Irvine Spectrum Center in recent days, you were right.

The Newport Beach-based Irvine Co. has begun testing a fully autonomous robot to supplement the mall’s security efforts.

The robot is a K5 model manufactured by Mountain View-based Knightscope. It’s shaped like a bullet, has wheels at its base and is about 5 feet tall.

The Spectrum Center’s K5 has been patrolling for about a week, said Bill O’Leary, vice president of corporate security for the Irvine Co. The test is expected to last three more weeks.

The robot, which is unnamed, follows a programmed route, capturing 360-degree video along the way, O’Leary said. Security staff can view the video live and receive alerts from the robot.

The K5 also has night vision and sensors that can detect heat, O’Leary said. It works for about one or two hours at a time before needing a recharge for 15 to 20 minutes. It then returns to its patrol.

“We’re always evaluating new technology and finding new ways to provide a better customer experience,” O’Leary said.

bradley.zint@latimes.com

Twitter: @BradleyZint


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