Edinburgh firm launches security patrol robot

An Edinburgh-based company has developed a robotic security vehicle that can help solve blind spot challenges, patrol perimeters and investigate alarms.

Casta Spes Technologies was set up by Selby Cary and Michael McDonald. Picture: Contributed
Casta Spes Technologies was set up by Selby Cary and Michael McDonald. Picture: Contributed

Casta Spes Technologies (CST) said the multi-terrain robot, dubbed Ziva, was targeting a range of sectors including agriculture, energy and construction.

Promising 360-degree CCTV coverage, the unit can be driven remotely or set to automatically patrol specified routes utilising multiple sensors and autonomous navigation, the firm said.

It is the first product from CST, which was set up by 24-year-old graduates Selby Cary and Michael McDonald. Designed using funding from pre-seed tech accelerator Seed Haus and with Scottish Enterprise support, the robot system is currently deployed on site with several companies including West Coast Capital Properties.

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    The vehicles mechanical design is said to combine multiple innovations into a single platform. Picture: Contributed

    The firm believes that the technology can offer major savings on the cost of a manned patrol by combining autonomous navigation with “multiple software add-ons”, such as car licence plate recognition.


    Co-founder Cary, who is chief executive of CST, and completed a masters degree at Heriot-Watt University, said: “It is estimated that the global market for surveillance robots is expected to reach more than $10 billion (£8bn) by 2025. This is a massive growth industry and Scotland has already demonstrated that it is a leader in robotic technology and development.

    “Ziva works by analysing the images it sees, allowing it to take on important perimeter security roles in remote areas or locations with limited infrastructure, such as warehouses, industrial properties and construction sites.

    “Scotland is fast becoming the robotics capital of Europe with the National Robotarium under construction in Edinburgh and the city playing host to some of the world’s leading robotics experts.

    “We believe Scotland’s capital is the ideal springboard from which to launch Ziva. Furthermore, the terrain and weather conditions are ideal for testing.

    “Once we knew we had something that could work in the Scottish weather, we were confident we could get it to work anywhere.”

    The company plans to deploy more units into the field shortly and will launch a suite of software add-ons and data analytics plug-ins to enhance the robot’s capabilities over the next 12 months.

    Able to reach speeds of 19 kilometres per hour and capable of tackling rough terrain, including gravel and long grass, Ziva is said to overcome many of the challenges faced by competitor robot security vehicles due to its “innovative” design. It can also provide a range of agricultural functions, such as checking crops for disease or monitoring livestock.

    The vehicle’s mechanical design combines multiple innovations into a single platform. CST said its dual-wheeled system means that it has a greater payload capacity, offers energy efficiency and can overcome rough terrain without becoming stuck.

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