Robot takes on task of surveillance, acts as deterrent at Pima Community College

Updated: Apr. 30, 2021 at 10:28 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) -Pima Community College will be welcoming more than just students back in the fall. A robot is making itself at home.

The campus is a ghost town -- well, almost.

While students have been gone, a robot has been getting a lay of the land for the last few months. It’ll be used as a security camera on wheels, giving evidence to officials if anything happens. It also connects people to dispatch if there’s an emergency.

“He’ll be able to go through the parking lots and we can program different license plates that he can look for and he’ll let us know, hey this car is in the parking lot,” says Lt. Jonathan Haywood. “And he also just acts as a deterrent. We have a lot of foot traffic here especially at this campus and if someone doesn’t need to be here and they see the robot running around it may make them think twice about being here without a real reason.”

They strategically plan the robot’s pattern to make sure it hits all the right areas. But campus police officers aren’t going anywhere.

Hawywood says so far, the few who have seen it have stopped by for selfies and to ask questions.

As for Tucsonans seeing these rolling around all Pima campuses...

“We really want to make sure that he’s a good fit and is helpful for us. And if he is, I don’t see why we wouldn’t deploy him at the other campuses because it’s just another layer of security that we can provide for the community,” says Haywood.

But the ultimate test for this robot will come in the fall, when students are expected back in-person.

The bot does not have a name yet, but Haywood says they have have the public choose a name, when the time comes.

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