NCTC Welcomes the Future of Security

Megan Jefferson | Aug 14, 2019

When North Central Texas College (NCTC) began evaluating security options for its new FSB Exchange campus in downtown Denton, the solution was seemingly pulled from the future. NCTC implemented a plan to include a Knightscope Autonomous Data Machine (ADM) with artificial intelligence (AI). This 400-pound, five feet tall security machine will be monitoring the four-story parking garage located at the downtown Denton campus.

This security robot will help minimize parking lot incidents, and save more than $100,000 in costs as compared to one year of traditional security.

“This is a tool we added to augment and support what we’re already doing,” said Chris McLaughlin, NCTC Senior Director of Emergency Management and Institutional Assurance. “We did add additional police officers for the Denton campus, but this is going to be a great tool for them enhance their patrol on duty and it will extend beyond their shifts.”

The Security Robot is equipped with a wide-range of capabilities including 360-degree high-definition video streaming that can record and store up to 24 hours’ worth of video surveillance. This eye-level camera will serve as a vital hindrance in eliminating crimes ranging from burglary, vehicle break-ins, vandalism, bicycle thefts, and more.

“We’re creating layers with safety and security,” said McLaughlin. “What this does is a lot of proactive patrol. It’s almost like having a virtual security guard that works 24/7 patrolling your campus garage.”

Knightscope’s ADM uses a powerful LED strobe effect, and continuous patrol sound to deter potential criminals. It uses face recognition, and thermal imaging sensors to automatically detect suspicious persons, or unauthorized vehicles. It can broadcast authoritative messages to any trespassers or criminals, to let them know that they are being monitored, and to leave the establishment immediately.

Knightscope’s Autonomous Data Machine has automatic license plate recognition that can detect any blacklisted license plates, or suspicious vehicles. Its emergency button can be used to signal help, and its two-way intercom allows for human-to-human voice interaction.

“It’s not that we’re replacing people with this system,” said McLaughlin. It’s a force multiplier for the people that we already have. This is an extra deterrence factor to minimize any potential impacts.”

In order to better assess students’ needs and the campus population’s impact on neighborhood and downtown traffic, NCTC is making the downtown Denton parking garage available only to NCTC faculty, staff, and students through the Fall 2019 semester. Visit ExchangeDenton.com, for more information.