As the noon set in on a sunny August afternoon, approximately five-feet-tall green-colored S5 robots cruised and patrolled between the rows of photovoltaic panels to ensure security, allow quick inspections of power and photovoltaic equipment, and also prevent theft and vandalism in a solar farm in California. The intimidating robots whirred quietly across the power plant, operating autonomously, without any permanently placed onsite maintenance staff. While this might seem like a fictitious scene, SMP Robotics is making it possible.

Setting a new standard of security best practices, SMP Robotics Systems stands on a belief that autonomous mobile robots designed for outdoor use can dramatically improve security coverage of large facilities. The company has devised an array of best-in-class, autonomous unmanned ground vehicle outdoor security robot dubbed as SMP S5. “We specialize in patrolling critical infrastructure and remote monitoring,” says Leo Ryzhenko, CEO of SMP Robotics Systems.

The new generation of autonomous robots from SMP Robotics Systems carries out mobile patrolling in risk-prone sites like oil and gas refineries, chemical plants, warehouses, parking lots, construction and mining sites, electrical power plants, and solar farms. The IP 65 water and dust resistant robots are unhindered by rough terrains, and operate across a temperature range of -12° to 112° F. Fully functional for 18 hours, the autonomous robots come with an automatic recharging system and can also utilize solar energy in places with extreme sunlight. The High Ingress Protection rated robots incorporate advanced capabilities like panoramic video surveillance system with PTZ camera, Wi-Fi MESH network connectivity, intelligent security, integration with cloud data and VMS central monitor systems, and comply fully with ONVIF standards. Together with their easy installation, self-diagnosis, obstacle avoidance, anti-collision systems, as well as the round-the-clock telemetric virtual monitoring functionality, these robots prove invaluable in managing critical infrastructure in remote territory.

The robots use visual and satellite navigation for highly precise movement along a route set during the learning process, and can be trained to follow single or multiple paths. Furthermore, patrol routes are saved in the cloud. “A key distinguishing feature of our robots is their ability to work in groups. This Swarm Intelligence feature enables uniform patrolling of large industrial areas while minimizing the number of operating robots,” Ryzhenko explains. The group mode of operation supports the ability to control how robots are distributed along the patrol routes to ensure that the common areas of the premises are consecutively surveyed from different observation points. Robots can take detours from obstacles up to seven inches away, but significant deviations from the route trigger an emergency shutdown system. In this case, robots can be returned to the correct path using the manual remote control mode. In case of insufficient illumination during patrols, the robots use infrared lighting. The highly efficient long-stroke wheel suspension facilitates reliable robotic traversing rough pathways. These autonomous robots require very little human interaction other than the occasional servicing or emergency.

We specialize in patrolling critical infrastructure and remote monitoring

That’s not all. SMP Robotic Systems’ robots can detect humans at close range using artificial intelligence, and their intelligent security capability enables recognition of staff members by uniforms. They are also equipped with a panic button and two-way audio intercom to enable communication between the manual operator and people around the robot in case of an emergency, such as faulty equipment, gas leaks, or smoke. The warning lights and sound notification provide immediate audio-visual warnings in such scenarios. The exchange of data between robots, the base station, and the operator takes place using Wi-Fi or 4G.

The Security Robot Messenger mobile messaging service provides instant notifications during patrols. The service provides information on the robots' condition, and transmits images of alarming events detected by the video analytics system to the mobile phones of the supervisor and security guards. The Mobile Patrol Viewer enables patrol video streaming and provides real-time information about the robots’ position on laptops or tablets.

The main highlight of these highly intelligent robots from SMP Robotics Systems is the cost efficiency they bring to the table. “Patrolling with our AI-powered robots is economic when compared to using human security guards, especially in large facilities,” says Ryzhenko. This is because costs incurred through leasing or buying robots are substantially lower than the hourly wages of human personnel. Robots can be utilized in high-risk areas prone to electrical fires, oil and chemical spills, or gas leaks to provide uninterrupted, round-the-clock robotic security duty operation. Furthermore, the patrols can continue efficiently irrespective of bad weather or extreme climatic conditions. While SMP Robotics Systems manufactures pre-packaged robots, they can be modified to meet specific requirements. SMP Robotics Systems works with other trading companies who distribute the security system by selling or leasing outdoor security robots, and occasionally program them to offer additional services.

As its list of specialized robots continues to grow, the company seeks newer distributors to increase adoption of these robots and modify them to meet customer-specific requirements.