Microsoft's Silicon Valley campus now guarded by Daleks

Once again, science fiction predicts the future, as spooky robots will patrol the campus.

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UPDATE: Microsoft has issued a clarification on this story. On the Microsoft Bay Area blog, the company explained that it hosted an event at its Silicon Valley campus earlier this month where Knightscope demonstrated its robots in its parking lot. The robots will not be returning to the campus as security personnel, however.

"Unfortunately, some media were so excited about the technology that they misinterpreted the story," the blog post reads. "At Microsoft, we love robots of all shapes and sizes. However, we do not have robots providing security on our campus."

So it looks like any of Microsoft's campuses will be guarded by robots. Yet.

If you ever visit the Microsoft campus in the Silicon Valley and hear a mechanical voice shout "Ex-ter-min-ate!", don't be too spooked. It just means some geek humor has gone a little crazy.

Microsoft's campus in Silicon Valley will be patrolled by a team of five security guard robots from a company called Knightscope. The robot, dubbed K5, is five feet tall, weighs 300 pounds, and looks disturbingly like the Daleks of "Doctor Who" fame.

Fortunately, they are not armed with lasers. They use cameras and sensors to monitor their assigned area and look for suspicious activity. They are armed with high-definition cameras and audio recorders, able to record events and voices, analyze faces, read license plates, and even detect biological and chemical agents.

The K5s also use laser scanning and GPS for navigation, have weather sensors, and communicate via Wi-Fi. Their batteries run for about 24 hours and the K5 will return to a dock/power station to recharge.

Should they spot a problem, they call a human security guard. I'm just waiting for Knightscope to decide to cut out the middle man. Or for bored Microsofties to try and hack the thing to play pranks on people.

That sounds like the plot of a bad SyFy movie, doesn't it?

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