Security in robotics is a big discussion for industry, and one of the biggest obstacles to wholehearted acceptance of Industry 4.0 technologies. Robots in security? That’s a whole other story.
A new consumer survey finds that the idea of having robots take over security in airports is very popular with consumers. Part of this is the indignity of being patted down by people. Robots, travelers feel, would be more impersonal and less intrusive feeling than human security officers.
These are also the areas where people are less confident about robots, as it happens. Survey respondents felt that robots would be less skillful with recognizing facial expressions, expressing feelings, and general emotional intelligence. They would be less likely to recognize those subtle signs of intention to commit terrorist acts and less likely to recognize faces, possibly of people on a wanted list.
But they’d also be less likely to make mistakes, according to consumers. Respondents felt that robots would be better at seven of the 12 skills identified as important in airport security workers. They’d also be less likely to be affected by personal prejudice.
Even after expressing greater confidence in machinery to do a good job in airport security, though, two thirds of those surveyed said they would be scared of robot security guards.
This attitude split shows up in factories as well, even though robots have been an integral part of manufacturing for decades. They’ve been dangerous, too, so it makes sense that there’s nervousness.
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