SAMMinistries turns to robots to upgrade security downtown

The two robots are being tested for 30 days to see if they will be a permanent fixture in the organization’s security.

SAN ANTONIO — There’s a new sheriff in town rolling in. SAMMinistries emergency shelter location is looking to increase security to protect residents downtown, and they’re hoping robots can help in that effort.

Gerard Morales, CEO of Texas Veteran Security, says being cost efficient and meeting security demands is paramount for SAMMinistries. The two robots are being tested for 30 days to see if they will be a permanent fixture in the organization’s security.

The robots have facial recognition and license plate readers. They also have the ability for guards to communicate through them.

“There’s a two-way communication that we can have if we see someone in our perimeter,” Morales said. “They’re going to help us view the campus a lot better than we would with one guard walking around there.”

Cost efficiency is the driving force for the two robots.

“It’s about a 1/3 of reduction of cost compared to a security guard working 24/7,” Morales said.

Rex Brien, vice president of emergency services for SAMMinistries echoes Morales’ views on the benefits of the robots.

“Two and a half man-power hours per shift these devices can replace,” Brien said.

Sometimes controlled by a gaming controller, these bots can also travel autonomously.

“Kind of like a remote controlled car with the Roomba vacuum cleaners that we have and a security guard all rolled into one,” said Brien.

Making it’s first debut in North America from Singapore to downtown San Antonio, Brien feels this is the perfect location to test out its capabilities.

“Being able to reduce cost to still have the same level of safety for everybody involved,” he said.

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