Few technologies capture the imagination like robots, and Cobalt Robotics is a new company that manufactures robot patrol guards! The company, based in Palo Alto, California, is a new member of the Security Industry Association (SIA), and we were pleased to catch up with CEO and Co-founder Travis Deyle to discuss why patrol robots offer great advantages to chief security officers. Learn more about Cobalt Robotics at https://www.cobaltrobotics.com.
1. How did you get into the security industry?
Frankly, I got into the security industry by accident. I left Google without a plan beyond “find and solve real-world problems.” Some of the first people I spoke with were chief security officers, who lamented the lack of security solutions during off-peak hours (nights, weekends and holidays)—namely, that cameras alone don’t cut it and manned guards are cost-prohibitive. I realized that the same robots I was building 15 years ago could address this problem—even more so now thanks to advances in machine learning, AI and computer vision. Plus, by focusing on security first, we can improve the technology and push the entire field of robotics forward as we add more capabilities to our robot.
2. Who are the prominent executives at your company? If someone wanted to meet a key person at an industry networking event, who would that be?
3. What do you enjoy most about your role?
It might sound cliché, but my personal mission in life can be summarized: “Enable the utopian Sci-Fi future I dreamed of as a child, to the betterment of all people.” Intelligent indoor robots are likely a key part of that future, and I feel an intense sense of duty to ensure the technology is used for good. Security personnel deal with a lot of challenges (sometimes, they witness humanity at its worst), yet the same duty permeates so much of what they do and why they do it; the people (both security professionals and technologists) are amazing!
4. What’s your company’s biggest challenge right now?
Startups face a number of hurdles that bigger, more-established companies may not. For example, robots are a new, high-tech product category with a lot of nuance, which then requires us to raise awareness and educate the industry, so that we can shed Hollywood-style preconceptions. Another hurdle is balancing growth with profitability; we need to scale quickly but not at a pace that is unsustainable or encourages corner cutting.
5. What trends does your company foresee for the security industry in the next year?
I think the security industry is coming to appreciate and embrace robotics. There are so many tangible benefits and real use-cases that I think we will see a lot more interest and engagement around the various robots: drones, indoor and outdoor.
6. What does your organization receive from membership in SIA? How do you plan to be active in the association soon?
We are excited to be SIA members and become more involved in the association, attending events, staying up-to-date on the news and connecting with peers.
7. Will your company participate in an upcoming event with SIA such as ISC West, New Product Showcase or Government Summit? If so, what aspect of the event appeals most to your company?
We will have a booth at ISC West (Booth #2141), and I am also presenting during the education sessions on how robots can be integrated into an organization. We are really looking forward to connecting with the executives and decision makers in attendance.