How would you like a robot to warn you that you are breaking a curfew?
A security robot is helping turn a noisy apartment complex in northeast Las Vegas Valley into a quieter and more peaceful place to live, says a manager.
“Westy” has been patrolling the grounds of the Liberty Village apartment complex with 1,129 residential units, just outside the southwest corner of Nellis Air Force Base, since October. It is believed that this will be the first time a security robot has been used in an apartment complex in Las Vegas.
Officially known as the Knightscope MIN31KS, the human-sized autonomous robot offers a variety of security measures, including video recording with four cameras, face recognition, reading license plates, verbal warnings, a telephone connection with human security officers, and a presence to help prevent improper activity.
“It was very useful in several ways,” said complex manager Carmen Batiz. “It can advise people if they are out after the 10pm curfew, and the four video cameras tend to trick people into avoiding it. If we have reports of vandalism, we can go over the video and get a timeframe of when it happened. It has a button that allows people to quickly get human help in an emergency.
“People don’t want to be caught by the cameras so they can avoid it,” Batiz said.
The robot is usually docked in its charging station when vehicle traffic is high during rush hour. Otherwise, he will patrol the approximately 9 hectares in Liberty Village.
The complex used to be routinely one of the top three apartment complexes in northeast Las Vegas for emergency calls. “Now it is said, however, that we are not even in the top 10,” said Batiz. “It has deterred a lot of crime and vandalism.”
Official Aden OcampoGomez of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department said Liberty Village was in the top three on 911 calls for apartment complexes in the northeastern part of the valley but dropped out of the top ten.
The robot’s success could be replicated in other Las Vegas complexes at California’s Westland Apartments, Batiz said.
“We have eight more properties and we’re definitely going to be bringing more robots out there, and even the Wynn have people come over to check that out,” Batiz said.
And it communicates in English and Spanish.
Crime Reduction in the California Test
A six-month test in 2019 on a similar robot by the Huntington Park, California Police Department in a community park resulted in a 10% reduction in service calls, a 46% reduction in crime reports, and a 27% increase in arrests and a reduction of citations increased by 68% in the same six months in 2018.
“I am just delighted that Knightscope has been able to help the City of Huntington Park and its citizens find peace and quiet when visiting Salt Lake Park,” said William Santana Li, chairman and general manager of Knightscope, Inc. The long-term vision is to making the United States the safest country in the world, and this is a significant step in the right direction. “
Contact Marvin Clemons at [email protected] Follow @Marv_in_Vegas on Twitter.