I Spent the Night With Yelp’s Robot Security Guard, Cobalt

THE NEWEST MEMBER of Yelp’s security team wakes just after 8 pm.

It traverses the lobby, gliding over polished concrete toward a small recess in the corner, where it inspects the emergency exit tucked inside. Last year, burglars tried to breach the office by rending the door from the building, frame and all. The low-resolution camera mounted in the lobby saw nothing.

“We couldn’t see what was going on inside the alcove,” says Rick Lee, Yelp’s head of security, who joined me on my late-night visit to one of the company’s San Francisco offices. “But there was daylight and cold air coming through where they’d bent the door frame. A high definition camera would have spotted the light. A directional mic would have heard the noise. A FLIR infrared sensor would have flagged the temperature delta,” Lee says.

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Mike Rawson

Mike Rawson has recently re-awoken a long-standing interest in robots and our automated future. He lives in London with a single android - a temperamental vacuum cleaner - but is looking forward to getting more cyborgs soon.

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I Spent the Night With Yelp’s Robot Security Guard, Cobalt

by Mike Rawson time to read: 1 min
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