Meet Salt and Peppa, the autonomous security robots guarding Slack’s head office
Slack, the San Francisco-based company behind the popular workplace instant messaging platform and a number of other collaboration tools, has partnered with industrial robotics company Cobalt to build a pair of autonomous security robots.Slack has been using the two Cobalt robots to monitor the office after employees go home for the day. Affectionately named Salt and Peppa, they wander the office keeping things under control.Deano Roberts, global facilities director at Slack, has said that the company’s use of Cobalt’s security robots isn’t about replacing humans; it’s all about safety.“Humans aren’t great at repetitive, redundant tasks,” Roberts says. “Guards simply doing their rounds are really bad at picking up on the subtleties of a workspace.”The Cobalt robots, on the other hand, autonomously roam the office after hours to pick up on any subtle anomalies, whether it be an open door or a person snooping around a section they shouldn’t be in.When they do come across something not quite right, a human “driver” comes to life on the robot’s video screen to assess the situation via live stream.So human security guards aren’t completely obsolete – yet.“The real meaningful solutions still need to be made by humans,” Roberts says. “There are still human security guards even though they’re not on site. There are still people developing this product.”The future of security seems to be heading straight down the automated robotic highway.