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BBot the robot is joining the security team at the Orange County Convention Center

BBot the autonomous security robot will be coming to the Orange County Convention Center as early as next month.
Submitted photo
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Orange County Convention Center
BBot the autonomous security robot will be coming to the Orange County Convention Center as early as next month.

The Orange County Convention Center is adding a robot named BBot to its security team as soon as next month.

Convention center security director Isiah White says the autonomous security robot will be a force multiplier and add an extra layer of safety.

If BBot performs well, there could be more of its kind. But White says they'll never replace the "human factor of security."

"The neat thing about the unit is it doesn't call in sick," White said. "It doesn't take vacations."

It works around the clock, but it does take a 15-minute break every few hours to recharge.

The 5-foot-tall rocket-shaped robot on wheels is the K5 model from Knightscope. The center will lease it through a $55,000-a-year subscription, plus $5,000 to get started, according to center spokeswoman Emily Eades.

"It's very unique in its look," White said. "And I really think it's going to be very attractive to our guests. It's going to heighten their awareness in seeing it, and they're going to feel better about it being there."

BBot -- which got its name following a contest at Sand Lake Elementary School --will have video cameras covering 360 degrees, thermal detectors, a help button and an audio message.

The thermal sensors can detect fires, as well as elevated body temperatures. The robot can also alert the security office to intruders after hours.

Joe Byrnes came to WMFE/WMFV from the Ocala Star-Banner and The Gainesville Sun, where he worked as a reporter and editor for several years. Joe graduated from Loyola University in New Orleans and turned to journalism after teaching. He enjoys freshwater fishing and family gatherings.
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