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Northern Arizona casino welcomes R2-D2-like robot to patrol grounds

(Courtesy photo)

PHOENIX — A casino in northern Arizona has welcomed a new member to its staff: A 400-pound robot that has been described as looking like R2-D2, the famed “Star Wars” character, or Wall-E, from the self-titled Disney-Pixar movie.

Stacey Stephens with the technology security company NightScope told KTAR News 92.3 FM that the company’s autonomous robot will soon be tasked with patrolling the campus at Twin Arrows Resort and Casino in Flagstaff. It is the first location in the state to house the technology.

The robot, known as Knightscope K5, is an entirely autonomous robot that will “patrol around completely on its own, meaning nobody is standing behind it with a remote control,” he said.

“It looks for anomalies that it can then report back to the security operations center, which is going to give them greater intelligence about what is going on at their property.”

Stephens said the robot will patrol around the property and look for “specific types of activities” to report back to the security team.

The robot will also be able to “interact” with casinogoers using two-way audio, 360-degree video, license plate recognition and people detection. The security team can use it to broadcast messages and guests can use it if they are in distress.

Stephens said the robot is 5-and-a-half feet tall, 3 feet wide and is in the shape of a silo.

“The moment anybody sees it — it’s pretty inconspicuous, as big as it is — you see it from quite a distance away, especially if you’re approached at night because it has all sorts of lights that brighten up the sky in the background, but people are definitely drawn toward it,” he said.

“It gains a lot of attention, which is good, because in any crime-fighting situation, people’s heads being on a swivel is a great thing.”

The robot is expected to start patrolling the Twin Arrows Resort and Casino in the next couple of weeks, Stephens said.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Madison Spence contributed to this report. 

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