SECOM Co Ltd. plans to rent out a private drone that takes off when intruder alarms are tripped and records footage of break-ins as they happen, a spokeswoman said Thursday. The futuristic helicopter-like flying device is equipped with a small surveillance camera that can transmit real-time footage of a crime as it is taking place. "The flying robot could take off if our online security systems detect any unauthorised entry," Asuka Saito, a spokeswoman for Secom Co Ltd, said. "It would enable us to quickly detect what's happening on the spot," she said. The machine with four sets of rotors is based on a model provided by Germany's Ascending Technologies and equipped with Secom-developed software, camera and other devices, Saito said. The first robot surveillance prototype in the world that utilises image analysis technology and sensing technology.
The company says the world's first autonomous private drone for security use measures 60 centimetres (24 inches) wide and weighs 1.6 kilogrammes (3.5 pounds) and will allow factory managers to monitor areas left uncovered by static cameras. Upon recognising unauthorised entry to a property or specific site, the robot will respond by capturing reliable accurate footage of the perpetrator. Along with the online security system, when an error occurs the robot will keep track of a suspicious person in autonomous flight, with the recorded imagery immediately transmitted to SECOM.
Development work on the powerful surveillance robot continues, with new techniques employed such as image analysis, sensing technology, human tracking and robot technology all of which are SECOM owned technologies. A laser sensor has been developed for outdoor intrusion monitoring and tracking in order to track a person or vehicle. In consideration of safety, the robot designed will stay within a flight area and keep a constant distance from the subject, such as, people and cars. The robot itself would be limited to a pre-programmed specific flight area.
Firms in Japan will be able to rent the drone as part of Secom's online security system for around 5,000 yen ($58) a month some time after April 2014, Saito adds that SECOM would like to be offering this service within other countries in the future. SECOM aim to build a society of ‘convenience, comfort, safety and peace of mind’.