San Diego International Airport

Airport to Test Autonomous Security Robots

San Diego International Airport is testing autonomous security robots as part of its 16-week Innovation Lab program.

NXT Robotics will beta test and refine the robots in an operating airport setting. The airport’s Innovation Lab occupies part of the former commuter terminal building. NXT has developed its autonomous robots to support airport security monitoring by employing artificial intelligence and continual surveillance.

The company’s robots can alert human controllers of any problems. Once alerted, controllers can move the robot into the right place to determine the exact nature of problems or concerns. Controllers can also broadcast messages, communicate with anyone on site, and send security or police for immediate action. The robots can also feature facial recognition and license plate detection technology, and be used to stream pre-recorded messages.

At the end of the program, successful innovators have the potential to win a contract from the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority, and/or gain access to other airports and analogous businesses including other transportation hubs, convention centers, shopping malls and other large venues such as ballparks, theme parks and hotels.

In late Fall 2019, the Lab will begin recruiting for its fourth group of innovators. Successful applicants must have an existing prototype that can be tested in an airport environment, and ideas that are new to U.S. airports or an extension of an existing service or product to be tested at San Diego International.

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Kylie Bielby has more than 20 years' experience in reporting and editing a wide range of security topics, covering geopolitical and policy analysis to international and country-specific trends and events. Before joining GTSC's Homeland Security Today staff, she was an editor and contributor for Jane's, and a columnist and managing editor for security and counter-terror publications.

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