Portuguese researchers create surveillance robot
RobVigil is the name of the robot that can detect intruders, high temperatures or floods, as well as monitor large facilities, such as warehouses or shopping centres, avoiding dangerous situations for security guards.
"The robot carries a set of sensors (smoke, gas, carbon monoxide, temperature, floods) and can make rounds like a security guard ", stated one of the managers of INESC TEC’s Robotics and Intelligent Systems Unit.
António Paulo Moreira explained that the project "includes not only surveillance cameras, but also a thermal camera which detects warm bodies". This is useful, for instance, in the case of fires or if a machine overheats. Here, the robot provides a colour image that reflects temperatures.
The expert, who is also a professor at the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto, also mentioned that the robot can detect anomalous situations "which could be dangerous to the security guard ", such as burglaries and gas leaks. In these situations, it is possible to send the robot to try and solve the problem".
The robot is suitable for large areas where it is necessary for security guards to go on rounds, such as warehouses, shopping centres or garages. It "has software that automatically reads car license plates and can detect the presence of carbon monoxide, which can be dangerous when in large amounts ", the researcher added.
The project was requested to INESC TEC’s Robotics and Intelligent Systems Unit by three Portuguese companies who want to manufacture and comercialise the robot.
The first "Robvigil" will be presented at the Sea Fair (Fórum do Mar), which will take place between Thursday and Saturday at the Exponor, in Leça da Palmeira (Portugal) and should start "working" in a company in July on an experimental basis.
Rádio Renascença Online, 7 May 2012