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The Rise of Robots — Already Here, More Are Coming

NetworkNewsWire Editorial Coverage: Although some people may be surprised, today’s world is full of robots. While these electro-mechanical devices may not be in the form of a cyborg RoboCop, they’re already serving people in countless ways. Industrial robots are a primary application today, with the world becoming accustomed to, and even expecting, life-altering technologies as robots shuttle people around, perform surgeries, keep communities safe, and much more. A global market summary by the International Federation of Robotics showed the robot trend accelerating, with a record 517,000 new industrial robots installed in factories around the world in 2021, up 31% from 2020. A host of innovative companies — including Knightscope, Inc. (NASDAQ: KSCP) (Profile), Velodyne Lidar Inc. (NASDAQ: VLDR), Pacific Gas & Electric Co. (NYSE: PCG), NVIDIA Corp. (NASDAQ: NVDA) and Palantir Technologies Inc. (NYSE: PLTR) — are investing in, developing and deploying leading-edge technology that is proving the value of robots in everyday lives or increasing their long-term potential.

  • Approximately 2.7 million industrial robots were in use in 2020, creating a global market valued at $55 billion that is expected to reach $165 billion by 2028
  • Knightscope robots have 1.8-plus million hours of operation, have been documented to deter criminal activity and have proven invaluable in convictions of crimes
  • Knightscope completed its first acquisition in October, buying CASE Emergency Systems
  • November has seen a surge of new orders, activations for Knightscope crime-fighting robots and CASE emergency phones

Robots Everywhere, Just Getting Started

In 2020, the size of the global industrial robot market was estimated at around $55 billion, with some 2.7 million units of industrial robots in operation worldwide, according to analysts at Statista. In 2028, the market size is projected to surpass $165 billion. Ironically, while industrial robots are working away in factories and warehouses, other robots are watching over them, providing security in another burgeoning market. According to ResearchandMarkets, the global security robot market will climb 14.1% annually from $8.7 billion in 2021 to $19.3 billion by 2027, an increasingly important segment of the overall $500 billion security market.

Given the sheer volume of crimes committed today, there’s a growing demand to employ robots equipped with high-definition cameras, streaming and recording, with capabilities to surveille public and private areas in a bid to deter, intervene, capture and prosecute offenders. Robots aren’t intended to be a replacement for human security personnel, rather high-tech assistants that are incorruptible, cost efficient and relentlessly on patrol.

A global leader in the development of autonomous security capabilities, Knightscope, Inc. is a Silicon Valley-based designer and builder of Autonomous Security Robots (“ASRs”) that provide 24/7/365 security anywhere people live, work, visit and study in the United States. Knightscope is at the intersection of four highly relevant technologies today: autonomous driving, robotic, electric vehicles and artificial intelligence. The company uses all these technologies to deliver comprehensive systems that effectively give its customers extra eyes, ears and voices on the ground. Further, the company offers Knightscope+, which adds professional monitoring by former law enforcement and military personnel to receive alerts and respond according to the client’s security post orders.

Knightscope Projects Tripling Annualized Revenue

In 2021, Knightscope ended the year with $3.4 million in revenue. CASE Emergency Systems, its recent acquisition, generated $5.4 million. “That’s a combined $8.8 million run rate last year for both companies,” noted William Santana Li, Knightscope chair and CEO. “We’ll be filing the 8-K for the combined entity at the end of the year, but we expect that the two units together will likely be running at a revenue run rate in the range of $12 million to $14 million, delivering on the accelerated growth versus the $3.4 million from 2021 by significant amount. The rise of the robots is happening.

“The size of our contracts continues to increase as we have announced numerous multi-unit deals such as the doubling of the contract with PG&E along with the growth of three major healthcare networks and universities,” Li continued in the video update. “Plus, we recently signed the largest K5 order in the company’s history from a major retailer. We are gaining clients that can scale as we make more and more progress in multiple verticals.”

To date, Knightscope’s client base spans the federal government, public institutions and commercial businesses including many Fortune 1000 companies, hospitals, school campuses, entertainment venues, logistics, storage facilities, manufacturing plants and more.  The company makes five different models of its robots, two of which are stationary and three that are mobile and designed for different environments (inside, outside, and a rough terrain model under development).

Knightscope crime-fighting robots are customizable to a client’s needs, albeit crime detection and prevention or public safety. Models can be equipped with features for detecting fires, reading license plates, or two-way communications features. To date, Knightscope robots have registered more than 1.8 million hours of operation where their effect has been documented via data analysis and adjudication. Deployment of a single K5 unit in Huntington Park in Los Angeles County resulted in 46% fewer crimes reported and a 27% rise in arrests over the period of one year. Not surprisingly, Huntington Park City Council unanimously voted to extend the Knightscope contract.

That is only a single example among many. Knightscope robots have been involved in closing cases involving burglary, domestic violence, hit-and-run, auto theft, fraud, shootings and more. The company also has a mobile app where people can take a video of an area where a Knightscope robot would be great for increasing public safety.

CASE Acquisition

As mentioned, last month Knightscope expanded its revenue streams with the acquisition of CASE Emergency Systems, a leader in blue-light emergency phones and an innovator in next-generation wireless emergency communications technology. Emergency blue-light phones are systems and communication equipment using solar power and satellite communication technology to provide reliable communications and improve public safety on freeways, bridges, tunnels, parking lots, campuses and industrial complexes, as well as on remote roadways, parks and recreational areas.

The acquisition was expected to be accretive to Knightscope, as CASE generated more than $5.4 million in profitable revenue in 2021. The new report from Knightscope transforms that expectation into a reality. Moreover, the acquisition gives Knightscope extended reach in its physical presence throughout the U.S. CASE has a multistate team, more than 7,000 devices deployed nationwide, and nine production and logistics facilities located across California, Texas and New York.

A Blizzard of New Orders and Activations

Knightscope is on a mission to make the United States the safest country in the world. To achieve this goal, the company aims to deploy machines-in-network to provide support for the 1 million law enforcement professionals and 1 million security guards throughout the nation. As evidenced by news releases, Knightscope is making headway towards its target.

The flurry of news lately has included activating ASRs at a casino and gaming facility in Iowa for a repeat client, a first agreement with a Fortune 1000 hospitality company in Seattle, a new Fortune 500 consumer foods manufacturer client at an initial location with potential to expand to 30 more, and an initial launch with a multifamily housing developer with 25 properties in south Texas. The acquisition of CASE has delivered synergies too, with Knightscope receiving a new contract at a New Jersey university for 31 of its K1 Blue Light Towers and 10 of its K1 Blue Light E-Phones. Separately, a Florida college placed an order for 22 K1 Blue Light Towers. Other new activations include 25 more ASRs and 16 K1 Blue Light Towers, along with five more orders for ASRs across multiple verticals and states.

And that was just during the first two weeks of November. Momentum is building for KSCP.

Majors Join the Trend

While Wall Street hasn’t been kind to tech companies in 2022. However, artificial intelligence, self-driving vehicles and new crime-fighting technology are the future of the United States and the world. The demand is simply too high for the positive impact these technologies will have on society. Expect to hear more about Knightscope in the months and years to come; the company is now in the mix with some of the biggest names in tech.

Velodyne Lidar Inc. (NASDAQ: VLDR) ushered in a new era of autonomous technology with the invention of real-time surround view lidar (light detecting and ranging) sensors. Velodyne’s portfolio of sensors and software are used in a wide range of industries including robotics, industrial, intelligent infrastructure, autonomous vehicles and advanced driver assistance systems (“ADAS”). Velodyne this month agreed to provide its lidar sensors to GreenValley International for handheld, mobile and unmanned aerial vehicle 3D mapping solutions, including in GPS-denied environments. Velodyne tech is also used in Knightscope ASRs.

Palantir Technologies Inc. (NYSE: PLTR) is a leading-edge tech company that operates under the mantra of “Foundational software of tomorrow. Delivered today.” The company has its hands in dozens of industries, including crime fighting where its platform makes it possible for police and security officers to integrate disparate information, amalgamating complex data into unified investigations for solving and preventing crimes.

Pacific Gas & Electric Co. (NYSE: PCG) has been looking to robots for years as part of its operations, including inspecting its gas transmission pipelines in an effort to increase pipeline safety throughout the service area. The utility has also turned to Knightscope’s autonomous security technology to augment security details at certain properties. After conducting a pilot program evaluating five Knightscope K5 ASRs last year, Pacific Gas & Electric doubled the order in August to provide overwatch and safety at specific locations.

NVIDIA Corp. (NASDAQ: NVDA) is a go-to name in tech at the brain of robotics. The company has its own Isaac(TM) robotics platform that addresses manufacturing challenges with an end-to-end solution designed to decrease costs, simplify development, and accelerate time to market. Last year, Knightscope selected NVIDIA technology to power its future fifth-generation ASRs.

The fact is that robots offer benefits and do tasks that humans simply cannot. Robots are highly optimal in specific applications, particularly those that are highly repetitive or require incessant vigilance. Simply put, advanced robot technology exceeds human capabilities, with robot companies benefiting in the long haul.

For more information about Knightscope Inc., please visit Knightscope, Inc.

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