QFC Hopes Next Generation Robot Security Guard Improves Parking Lot Safety

Shoppers at the North Bend QFC will soon be greeted by a robotic security guard patrolling the parking lot. The grocery store will enlist the help of an autonomous mech-like robotic security guard in an effort to provide their customers with a more secure shopping experience. 

Junior Assistant QFC Store Manager John Herrington said, "the cutting-edge technology developed by Autonomous Security Solutions (ASS) operates autonomously 24 hours a day and seven days a week, utilizing 360-degree sensors and cameras to detect suspicious activity in our parking lot. The robot is also equipped with computer vision algorithms for license plate recognition as well as lighting modules so it can operate in low light conditions. Coupled with its ability to use deadly force, if needed, this robot stands at the forefront of security measures implemented by retail stores today. It simply blows away the portable camera system now in use!"

Due to its height (just over 12 feet tall) and metallic frame, the store management hopes the robot will deter potential criminals and any criminal activity around store premises. The robot's sophisticated engineering enables it to operate in low light conditions and even recognize license plates with computer vision algorithms.

According to ASS CEO John Smithson, “our goal is always to provide our clients with best-in-class security solutions that keep their premises safe, while also offering convenience." He went on to add, “we are especially proud of this project because of the ability of this robot to independently use deadly force, as needed, without the need for human interaction -- that danger is something that scares us, but also very much excites us.”

One additional benefit that Mr. Smithson boasted about is that autonomous robots have unlimited working capacity, meaning they don’t need breaks like humans, allowing for around-the-clock vigilance.

QFC hopes that Snoqualmie Valley residents will see the installation of the robotic security guard as a sign that their grocery store is taking proactive measures to ensure their customers have a safe and secure shopping experience. 

In addition to its ability to assault suspected shoplifters, the robot will act as a friendly informative guide for shoppers visiting the store; providing aisle locations for products and giving visitors information about nearby North Bend attractions.  

While the robot's deadly force capabilities may seem extreme to some, Mr. Herrington believes its primary purpose to deter potential criminals from committing any criminal activities near store premises, along with its ability to lower costs due to theft-prevention will make it “a pleasant addition to the shopping experience at QFC”.


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