PayPal Co-Founder Peter Thiel Joins $5 Million Backing For Robot Security Company RoboteX

4,628 3 Loading

[Source: RoboteX]

[Source: RoboteX]

Security robot maker, RoboteX, is feeling safe and sound indeed. The company recently attracted the support of PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel. Along with RoboteX founder Nathan Gettings, chief executive Alexander Karp, and four other unnamed investors, the group filed $5 million in funding for the California-based company.

Over the past six years RoboteX has developed a lineup of sturdy robots versatile enough to be used by the military, police, or people who think they might have heard something in the shed. Their Avatar series Security Robot goes on patrol so humans don’t have to. Realtime video is fed to a control center wirelessly for monitoring, and a two-way audio feed allows controllers to ask questions first and get answers hundreds of miles away. Its camera has full 360 degree coverage and shoots in both visual and infrared – so there’s no hiding in the dark. It’s also hard to get away from – capable of climbing stairs and moving over carpets, wet floors, even rugged outdoor terrain, it can go just about anywhere a human can (apart from climbing – but maybe future models will be given the super-jumping power of Boston Dynamics’ Sand Flea). Avatar can be programmed to follow patrol routes and respond to alarms, or be manually controlled to inspect incidents. It also weighs just 25 pounds so it can be carried and deployed easily.

RoboteX offers a range of robots for both professional and personal security [Source: RoboteX]

RoboteX offers a range of robots for both professional and personal security [Source: RoboteX]

In addition to patrolling and heavy duty reconnaissance such as serving as a go-between in a hostage situation and investigating suspicious packages, RoboteX also provides a line of robots for home use. Compatible with any iOS device, the robots can be remote controlled to inspect a house and its surroundings. Its two-way communication also comes in handy at the office or in those moments when you just don't feel like climbing the stairs to tell you kid sister it's time for dinner.

The appeal of security robots is not only that they won’t get caught sleeping on the job, but that, over time, they pay for themselves. At least that’s the selling point of companies like RoboteX where they guarantee "cents-on-the-dollar" savings compared to conventional security guards. Other robot security guards, like Vigilus from Vigilant Robots, promise that companies can save money by replacing their flesh-and-blood guards with nuts-and-bolts ones. Of the many markets robots are trying their best to break into, security could be one that pays off sooner rather than later.

Evidently that’s exactly what Peter Thiel is thinking.

Peter Murray

Peter Murray was born in Boston in 1973. He earned a PhD in neuroscience at the University of Maryland, Baltimore studying gene expression in the neocortex. Following his dissertation work he spent three years as a post-doctoral fellow at the same university studying brain mechanisms of pain and motor control. He completed a collection of short stories in 2010 and has been writing for Singularity Hub since March 2011.

Discussion — 3 Responses

  • vmagna April 3, 2013 on 12:07 pm

    Is robocop going to happen or so we really need a dystopia first?

  • Robert Schreib April 4, 2013 on 9:03 pm

    It’s kind of sad for the blue collar demographic; he just put a million night watchmen out of a job!

  • J5un April 7, 2013 on 10:11 am

    I think for every robot that we use we will also need people to improve, maintain, and fix them. At least right now. Its a little scary the way companies like Foxconn are going buying 1 million robots supposedly to only work beside them. yah right!