Why Is ROAMEO, Our Newest Security Robot, So Darn Big?

Because, quite frankly, sometimes bigger really is better. Not that we have anything against little robots, or little people, for that matter. There’s a reason that jockeys are about five feet tall and weigh just over 100 pounds. But they’re probably not moonlighting as bouncers or security guards.

Let’s face it. Some jobs are better served by the big and tall. Who would you rather have safeguarding your property; a five-foot-tall weeble or a nearly seven-foot-tall, 700-pound goliath? There are several reasons why we’re guessing it’s the latter.

Let’s start with ROAMEO’s impressive height. Security robots are meant to provide on-site monitoring and detection of situational anomalies and physical threats. A “petite” security robot trying to patrol a parking lot, warehouse, industrial complex, or airport grounds is like a 3rd grader trying to watch a parade through a sea of adults. Unless he’s perched on someone’s shoulders, he’s not going to see beyond the back pockets of the person in front of him.

By contrast, at a towering 6’6”, ROAMEO’s cameras see eye-to-eye with LeBron James, who you can imagine has a clear, unobstructed view of parades and just about everything else – except when he’s surrounded by his fellow NBA players. Like LeBron, ROAMEO can see far and wide over the tops of most people, vehicles, hedges and – yes – other robots. Now you may think, “robots that are closer to average human height are better for interacting with the public,” but ROAMEO’s got that covered. With two large 21” displays on each side of his frame, mounted at eye level for most adults, interactive communication and support services can be provided in a friendly and accessible manner. Who says you have to talk to a robot’s “head” – or in ROAMEO’s case, his turret? Just because ROAMEO’s famous fictional predecessors were anthropomorphized by their creators, the truth is that humanoid or creature-like form factors don’t always make the most sense for today’s real-world robots. That’s certainly the case for machines intended to deliver the most robust security and concierge services.

Of course, ROAMEO’s height is only half the story. He’s also immense. And heavy. And has a very low center of gravity, making him incredibly stable.  We like to think of him as the “Hummer®” of robots. His sheer size makes a statement, telling bad guys “Don’t mess with me.” His camera turret is out of reach for casual tampering, and it would take more than a few drunk pranksters to successfully tip him over. Which is important, because, underneath all that metal and electronics, he’s actually a gentle giant. His mechanical wizardry doesn’t include a lightsaber, phaser or any type of offensive gadgets. He’s also not trained in the martial arts. (Although wouldn’t it be cool if he was?) So in terms of minimizing crime, ROAMEO relies on his appearance to serve as a deterrent. We think his design accomplishes that quite well.

You ask, “Why is ROAMEO so darn big?” We say, “Why are other security robots so darn small?”