A Marketing Home Run For Knightscope - Man Attacks Robot

By John Honovich, Published Apr 27, 2017, 09:49am EDT

We criticize Knightscope regularly - their lack of revenue, their trying to fool mom 'n pop investors, their associating themselves with a clueless company, Jim Cramer's nonsense 'interview', etc., etc.

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*** *** *** **** 'robot ******' *** ***********? Knightscope ****:

*** ***** *** ******* as ** *** ******* to **. *** '*******' was ******** *** *********** reported. *** ****** ** the ***** *******, *** suspect ********* ** **** the ***** *** *** detained ** *** ** my ********** *** ** until *** ******** **** Police *******."

*** $**,*** * **** robot **** ********** ** the ****** ***** **** ****** are ****** ** ****** the ********. ***** ***** but *** * **** outcome *** ***** ******* to '******' *********** ******.

Comments (19)

All this shows is how easy it is to defeat this robot? I would say this is a marketing fail?

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All this shows is how easy it is to defeat this robot?

I agree that it shows how easy it is to defeat the robot but I don't think that is 'all'.

The benefit for Knightscope is sheer name recognition. I bet Knightscope has a 10x advantage in name recognition over all its competitors. And that's an advantage when they meet a prospect who says "Yeah I read about you in the newspaper, etc."

They still need to deliver a viable value proposition but having high name recognition helps the sales process.

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Their sales guys have an advantage as well.

"Would you like to buy a $60,000 robot? No? Ok, how about a few $3 shares of stock?"

What other company can offer you robotic protection AND investment portfolio diversity?

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Even this incident is a non-incident if the robot itself wasn't involved.  Without the robot getting attacked there was no crime reported by the robot.  It is not as though the K5 has a breathalyzer.

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Good point.  Knightscope had a negative impact on crime reduction, actually causing an incident from their robot being present.

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Picturing this I was reminded of the "Citizen's Arrest!" scene from The Burbs:

Citizen's Arrest

I can see the Knightscope guys running out and tackling the drunk guy, protecting their poor robot.

 

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Im my mind, the "robot assault" constitutes vandalism, like parking your Bugatti amongst a sea of domestic vehicles... you're pretty much ASKING for a break-in or a key down the side of your fender.  These things are so audacious in their appearance-- flashing lights, spooky Star Trek sounds, bulbous physique... I mean, I've been SOBER and thought about what it would be like to tackle one of these things. "Where do you suppose the center of gravity is?"  "Should I take it out at the head, or from the waist?"  "If I knock it down, will Dr. Smith from Lost in Space try to molest me when I'm bent over and my back is turned?"  These are questions I ask when I'm sober, so I don't think it's too far-fetched to assume someone would feel compelled to vandalize them while in an inebriated state.  

These things are like a rolling Box camera.  Until someone comes up with a rolling vandal dome, I think we're just going to see more and more of this.  

See what I did there?  Camera references.  

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I mean, I've been SOBER and thought about what it would be like to tackle one of these things. "Where do you suppose the center of gravity is?" "Should I take it out at the head, or from the waist?" "If I knock it down, will Dr. Smith from Lost in Space try to molest me when I'm bent over and my back is turned?" These are questions I ask when I'm sober

LOL, you scare me.

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Hey... I wear my heart on my sleeve.

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Knightscope supposedly "on patrol" in Knightscope parking lot right before attack*. K5 claims to have been on simulated smoking break, but actually looks more like an ambush:

 

K5: None Shall Pass!
Jason: I have no quarrel with you good Sir Knight, now step aside!
K5: None Shall Pass!
Jason: White Knight, don't be silly, you have no arms, now move!
K5: I move for no Man.
Jason: So be it!

*Picture of confrontation is real, dialog adapted from here.

 

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I find it mildly amusing that this thing parks itself out back next to the covered gas grill, which bears to question, should a Knightscope be on its smoking break next to a propane grill?  Moreover, is it 20' away or more from the nearest building egress?

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If this article has taught me anything, it's that now we know if a Knightscope tips over, and no one's around to see it, it DOES make a sound.

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If this is legitimate, the interesting thing is they needed another camera to verify the incident happened, not the K5 itself.

Missed this in the flyer:

"Works great if you have it on camera at all times!"

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New CNN article: Robots hit the streets -- and the streets hit back. Money quote:

Knightscope, which makes the robot that was targeted in Mountain View, said it's had three bullying incidents since launching its first prototype robot three years ago.

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Knightscope... said it's had three bullying incidents since launching...

I don't think these robots were "bullied". And I'm surprised to hear a robotics company even use such a fallicious Anthropomorphism.

 

Bullying without coercion is just aggression.  Were these robots coerced or intimidated?

Is it even possible to "bully" a robot? One could try:

Bully: Open the garage bay doors!
Robot: I'm sorry, I'm not authorized to do that, can I help you with anything else?
Bully: Is there an electrical outlet nearby?
Robot: Why yes, right behind you.  What do you want it for?
Bully: Just this Weller 80W soldering gun.
Robot: Opening garage bay doors.

 

 

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Update:

Bill Santana Li, CEO of Knightscope, tells Business Insider there's a lesson to be learned from the events on April 19.

"Don't mess with a K5," Li says.

Yes, because if you mess with a K5, multiple human beings will be dispatched to intercept and detain the attacker.

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Yes, because if you mess with a K5, multiple human beings will be dispatched to intercept and detain the attacker.

Unless you weigh less than 25 lbs, in which case the lessons learned from the events of July 7 will be applied as well.

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New story from SF Chronicle:

“It hurt the (robot’s) ego ... but I would much rather someone be harassing a robot than a human being,” [Knightscope VP] Stephens said.

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"It hurt the (robots) ego"

They should stop gratuitously ascribing human traits to their robot, especially when the absence of those traits is part of their competitive advantage over traditional guards.

Perhaps Knightscope will provide counseling to the other robots on staff who are now understandably fearful of being brutally up-ended.

 

 

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