For the same reasons you wouldn’t leave your house unlocked at night, you’ll want to do your homework on construction site security. But here’s the catch: the supervision that once required security guards and surveillance companies now has a new twist. Options for site supervision outside working hours are growing exponentially through virtual, robotic, and aerial alternatives. A Construction Informer author, Lisa Koy, provided an all-inclusive run down of some newer technologies that are likely to make you take a step back. It seems the future is now with the main security resources covered: virtual guards, drone monitoring, and robotic intruder chasers.
In my opinion, the most interesting development has to be construction site robots. A concept tested and endorsed by Uber, the guard robots replace humans, yet can think and record video when programmed to. The 300 pound guards move fairly quickly and are designed to chase off intruders—all for a minimal cost. Koy explains that although this hasn’t been implemented in the construction world at this point, once the technology is perfected this has the potential to influence site security in a major way.
Another system on the rise is similar to site robots, minus the mobility. Virtual guards, an intelligent camera system, replaces physical security guards by capturing incidents on camera following a “walk through” of the site. A unique application of virtual guards can come into play if a lone worker feels endangered. There is a panic button installed for workers to be used in case of emergency that will alert local authorities and report events to the server. What’s also impressive about this is the cost—substantially cheaper than security guards, however capable of more.
A popular tool we hear about often, drones, also has been showing some exciting security capabilities. While they are frequently used for site photos and compliance check-ins, drones are now being viewed in a larger role carrying a bit more importance. Drones are useful in site surveillance, as they can be made compatible with any camera. “For example, thermal cameras tend to be the most useful at night, because they can sense body heat and are able to determine if there is a potential trespasser on site, or if the heat is coming from something non-threatening, like a wandering animal. Unmanned aerial vehicles can launch at a certain time each day, fly around the site all night, and return to the ground the next morning. They can fly around the entire property much faster than a human guard would be able to walk, so they can get to any area where assistance is needed right away.” With this “eye in the sky” resource, security can be as simple as pressing a button.
As “Jetson-esque” as these ideas seem, there are concrete benefits and savings potential. Although the expertise of a security guard is unique, there are replacement options that can present some strong advantages and new levels of awareness.