Theme park guests are used to seeing robot characters like Baymax, WALL-E, and Optimus Prime, but starting this month, mobile security robots will be on the job as well.
Robot security units named ROAMEO (Rugged Observation Assistance Mobile Electronic Officer) are arriving this week at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia, Calif. and next week at Six Flags Over Texas in Arlington, Tex. Additional units named ROSA (Responsive Observation Security Agent) are already up and running at both Six Flags parks.
The new 6.5-foot, 750-pound ROAMEO theme park team members can move at speeds of up to 12 miles per hour and have a 360-degree field of view, a touch screen, speakers, and a two-way communication system. ROAMEO can also recognize when parkgoers are in restricted areas; identify vehicles, license plate numbers, and people; and can even provide information on ride wait times and direct guests to attractions.
The company behind ROAMEO and ROSA is Robotic Assistance Devices (RAD). With plans to deploy 100 mobile security robots this year to theme parks, casinos, and other venues, RAD notes that ROAMEO units are meant to complement human security guards but not replace them.
“ROAMEO supports existing manned operations,” explained RAD Founder and CEO Steve Reinharz. “[This] allows human officer focus to be on high priority issues while the robots patrol and perform other functions.”
According to Six Flags’ Vice President of Security and Safety, Jason Freeman, the Texas and California parks will initially deploy ROAMEO units to patrol parking lots during operational hours and let them roam inside the theme parks after close. The units, called “Parker” (of course!), will even have name tags. RAD presented a Six Flags branded “Parker” robot during IAAPA (International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions) Expo 2021 in Orlando and hopes to debut mobile security robots in more theme parks this year.
“ROAMEO does more than just provide a physical deterrent […] and alert on various security issues,” Reinharz said. “It has a series of ‘Concierge’ functions performed on the two large touchscreens, the LED ring, and the speakers. Units will have various features ‘unlocked’ as they settle into their homes, so when you see a ROAMEO be sure to check it out, see what additional services it can provide, and take a selfie – welcome to the age of robots!”
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