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Robots & Executive Protection: Science Fiction or the Future of Operations? | Mark Folmer
Episode 433rd November 2021 • The Circuit Magazine Podcast • BBA Corporate Ltd
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Is EP ready for robots? It might sound like science fiction but in truth, it’s already here.

Today we’re joined by Mark Folmer of Robotic Assisted Devices and he’s going to help us unpack this topic so we can get, not just a better understanding of where the industry’s at, but more importantly, where it has the potential to go.

In this episode we'll explore:

  • Where could robots be useful on an EP operation and where are they already in use?
  • What problem are robotic assisted devices trying to solve in the industry?
  • How do we take this concept out of science fiction and make it applicable to the executive protection industry?
  • How does the day rate for an EP agent compare to the rental of a robot, right now? 

Listen to today's episode as we attempt to answer those questions and shine light on this fascinating topic as a whole.

More about Mark:

Mark Folmer is the President & Chief Operating Officer at Robotic Assistance Devices, a high-tech company that delivers robotics and artificial intelligence-powered solutions that enable organizations to solve complex security and service challenges. 

Mark is a 25 year security industry veteran. Over the years, he has held senior roles in security services across Canada, has launched a security services consulting firm, has served on the corporate security team of Canada’s largest telecommunications company and has created the security function for a Montreal based software company. 

Named to IFSEC's Global influencers list in 2018 and 2019, Mark is a Business School Graduate, Certified Protection Professional (CPP) and Fellow of The Security Institute (FSyI). 

He volunteers with ASIS International, as one of the community vice presidents . 

Mark also teaches courses in the Security and Police Studies at the Université de Montréal.

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Robotic Assisted Devices

More about the Circuit:

The Circuit Magazine is written and produced by volunteers, most of who are operationally active, working full time in the security industry. The magazine is a product of their combined passion and desire to give something back to the industry. By subscribing to the magazine you are helping to keep it going into the future. Find out more >

If you liked this podcast, we have an accompanying weekly newsletter called 'On the Circuit' where we take a deeper dive into the wider industry. Opt in here >

The Circuit team is:

  • Elijah Shaw
  • Jon Moss
  • Shaun West
  • Phelim Rowe


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Transcripts

Elijah:

People think about DARPA and they see the military, you know, doing

Elijah:

these pieces here, but, you know, as we.

Elijah:

Every other piece of tech, the military habit, and then it will filter

Elijah:

down into the private sector and it will figure out useful part of the

Mark Folmer:

hesitation.

Mark Folmer:

Right?

Mark Folmer:

It's part of his people have seen the canines and people react very

Mark Folmer:

differently when they see it.

Mark Folmer:

Some people flock to it because they want to pet it for lack of a better word.

Mark Folmer:

They want to kind of see it interact.

Mark Folmer:

Other people take a step back on like, Hey, what's this going to do to me?

Intro:

welcome to the Circuit.

Intro:

Magazine.

Intro:

The number one source for information on protection matters.

Intro:

The industry leading magazine for all security professionals who

Intro:

want to stay ahead of the game.

Phelim:

Is EP ready for robots?

Phelim:

Sounds science fiction.

Phelim:

But what is the real story I'm here with Elijah Shaw and today

Phelim:

we're going to be talking to Mark Folmer of robotic assisted devices.

Phelim:

Great friend of not just the industry.

Phelim:

ISIS and the security industry as a whole Elijah tell us this is a good topic

Phelim:

for EP because I really hope it will be

Elijah:

well, w you know, when we were first discussing potential topics and

Elijah:

people that have on, I had to wrap my head around this, but the more I thought about.

Elijah:

The more I was intrigued.

Elijah:

And one of the reasons is, is because I think our mandate at the magazine and with

Elijah:

circuit media period, is to try and expose the industry to new concepts and ideas.

Elijah:

And so just like in other industries, they're pushing forward, they're

Elijah:

researching new technology, new tactics and techniques.

Elijah:

We have to do the exact same thing.

Elijah:

And so when we talk about.

Elijah:

Again, I would call a future tech, but as we can see, uh,

Elijah:

is actually happening in place.

Elijah:

We can see how we can use that as in the close protection community,

Elijah:

uh, for ourselves and for our

Elijah:

clients.

Phelim:

And you know what?

Phelim:

We could totally do it in a clickbait fashion where we basically tell people

Phelim:

it's going to take over the world.

Phelim:

It's going to take your jobs.

Phelim:

It's going to be like the Terminator.

Phelim:

Sure.

Phelim:

But we don't even need to do the clickbait.

Phelim:

I think people are naturally fascinated with robots, but

Phelim:

there are robots everywhere now.

Phelim:

They, they, they don't look like a person.

Phelim:

They don't look like necessarily a dog.

Phelim:

Um, where do you think robots could be useful on an EPO operation?

Elijah:

Well, okay.

Elijah:

So to your first statement, I remember when, uh, the Rumbas came

Elijah:

out, which, you know, the, the, the vacuums and I go, who the heck needs

Elijah:

this, a regular vacuums, just fine.

Elijah:

And then you saw that, oh, wait a minute.

Elijah:

I could do.

Elijah:

In one room doing some work and the floor still gets vacuum in the other room.

Elijah:

And you said, I became that much more productive.

Elijah:

And so when I, I think about it, as it relates to EP, again,

Elijah:

it doesn't have to be scary.

Elijah:

It doesn't have to be like, oh, we're going to lose our jobs

Elijah:

to our robot overlords instead is we could utilize this tool.

Elijah:

Out in the field, you know, we could have an extra set of eyes or ears or

Elijah:

hands and, and, and it can work for us.

Elijah:

And so that's where I see the benefit.

Elijah:

And that's where I'm really interested in and listening to our, um, I guess,

Phelim:

and especially in some of those larger operators where there is

Phelim:

a bigger duty of care for lone workers.

Phelim:

This could be your buddy.

Phelim:

This could be some thing watching your bag, but you know what, why not have

Phelim:

something that you could throw up and.

Phelim:

It could augment your operation in terms of eyes in the sky, but why

Phelim:

not have a couple of canines in the back of the truck, which are in fact

Elijah:

absolutely.

Elijah:

I mean, and you know, and people think about DARPA and they see the

Elijah:

military, you know, doing these pieces here, but, you know, as we know.

Elijah:

Every other piece of tech, the military, I have it.

Elijah:

And then it will filter down into the private sector and then

Elijah:

we'll figure out uses for it.

Elijah:

So we don't want to be behind the curve on anything.

Elijah:

And that includes something like this.

Phelim:

Absolutely.

Phelim:

Now we're going to hear from, uh, Mark Follmer and you know what,

Phelim:

this is kind of timely because I am separately running a small forum

Phelim:

for physical security and robotics.

Phelim:

And I just wanted to capture this.

Phelim:

This moment when the wider security community gets aware of what's going

Phelim:

on, maybe, maybe we can do a, oh, you're sorry to hear first, but these things

Phelim:

are there ready for you to buy or rent?

Phelim:

This is not, this is not some super future science fiction technology.

Phelim:

And I think some of the big operators are already going to be using.

Elijah:

Well, I'll tell you what, after we dropped the

Elijah:

episode, we'll get some feedback.

Elijah:

We'll talk about it either inside the circuit, ah, um, the side inside a circuit

Elijah:

magazine or to BBA connect or the NABA protector, and then, then we'll come back

Elijah:

and see it, but it wasn't successful for

Phelim:

us.

Phelim:

Here's Mark Folmer and we're talking robotics interview

Intro:

and now let's meet one of the contributors to the circuit magazine.

Phelim:

Robotic assisted devices and executive protection

Phelim:

or executive security.

Phelim:

Is it an unnatural fit or are we really onto something?

Phelim:

We are very, very pleased to be joined by Mark Folmer of robotic assisted devices.

Phelim:

I'm here with the Elijah Shaw and we're going to explore how this could apply to

Phelim:

EP and it's not actually science fiction.

Phelim:

So mark, it's a pleasure to have you on.

Mark Folmer:

Um, great.

Mark Folmer:

So I'm really happy to be a really happy to be here with you and.

Phelim:

So mark, let's do our three quick fire questions.

Phelim:

The purpose of our quickfire questions, we just get into very succinct

Phelim:

thinking around the topic, and then we'll go into more of a discussion.

Phelim:

What do you think robotic assisted devices are trying to solve in the industry

Mark Folmer:

right now?

Mark Folmer:

Yeah, that's a great question.

Mark Folmer:

And I got to answer that right in less than less than 30 minutes.

Mark Folmer:

So, so what are we trying to solve?

Mark Folmer:

We are trying to.

Mark Folmer:

Open the eyes, I guess, are open opportunities to, uh, looking

Mark Folmer:

at security from a different perspective, looking at security

Mark Folmer:

services from a different perspective.

Mark Folmer:

So using technology, using robotic devices to.

Mark Folmer:

Take some of the mundane, some of the, you know, those boring tasks that, you know,

Mark Folmer:

people as a premium don't really want to do and don't really want to interact with.

Phelim:

And what about you?

Phelim:

Tell us a little bit about your background, where your passion

Mark Folmer:

for this.

Mark Folmer:

Thanks.

Mark Folmer:

Uh, thanks Tom.

Mark Folmer:

So I'm, I've been in the industry for 25 years, more or less, right?

Mark Folmer:

Started it started when I was 12, of course, but, uh, so,

Mark Folmer:

uh, 25 started the career.

Mark Folmer:

Uh, I'm a business grad, so I'm not a natural security person.

Mark Folmer:

Started the career off in the, in the security service side.

Mark Folmer:

Right.

Mark Folmer:

Worked with, um, uh, security service providers, both international and

Mark Folmer:

national, uh, from there started a consulting business on the physical

Mark Folmer:

security side And that led me to some executive security service work, uh,

Mark Folmer:

for a large telecommunications company based, uh, based here out of, uh, out of

Mark Folmer:

Canada and then had my aha moment when I was on the corporate security team there

Mark Folmer:

and, and said, you know what technology is where it's at technology is where

Mark Folmer:

we can really drive, you know, so the service side where it's really requires,

Mark Folmer:

you know, that, that, um, That, uh, that human interaction, but we can kind

Mark Folmer:

of drive, drive that to the specialty.

Mark Folmer:

So, so I joined, uh, joined a software company initially and then joined

Mark Folmer:

robotic assistance devices now going on a year and a half year and a half.

Phelim:

Love it.

Phelim:

And then, and then what about the uninitiated out there?

Phelim:

People who have no idea about robotics, they can imagine maybe

Phelim:

the Terminator, you know, w w what, what should the uninitiated

Mark Folmer:

understandable?

Mark Folmer:

So we all have our preconceived ideas of what a robot looks like, right?

Mark Folmer:

It's either R2D2 at C3 PO or it's it's Wally.

Mark Folmer:

Right.

Mark Folmer:

You know, and we all have an idea.

Mark Folmer:

Maybe it needs to look like a person.

Mark Folmer:

Maybe it needs to talk.

Mark Folmer:

Maybe it needs to move.

Mark Folmer:

What I would, what I would challenge people to think about

Mark Folmer:

is, um, not necessarily the form that it's in, but what it does.

Mark Folmer:

Right.

Mark Folmer:

Are we asking, uh, a device in a lot of times I just refer to them as devices.

Mark Folmer:

Is the device able to interact?

Mark Folmer:

Is it able to deliver that first layer of, Hey, you're trespassing or, Hey,

Mark Folmer:

you know what we would rather, not that you be in such and such an area.

Mark Folmer:

Uh, and then at the same time enable maybe an EAP agent, maybe

Mark Folmer:

someone who's on the security team, maybe someone who's in a security

Mark Folmer:

operation center somewhere within.

Mark Folmer:

Right.

Mark Folmer:

So there's some kind of artificial intelligence, some kind of human

Mark Folmer:

detection, vehicle detection, sort of going on and then taking care of that

Mark Folmer:

basic sort of first-level interaction.

Mark Folmer:

And then putting in the hands of, of a, of a human.

Mark Folmer:

Now it can be like, okay, that's a, um, That's a kid whose, whose

Mark Folmer:

ball has rolled onto the field.

Mark Folmer:

They're going to grab it and, and walk away or no, you know what, that's the

Mark Folmer:

third time I see that same person trying to kind of test a perimeter, trying to

Mark Folmer:

kind of come in and, and understand.

Mark Folmer:

So that's what I would kind of sketch out as a, as an idea.

Elijah:

Well, I think.

Elijah:

Uh, a great example, because even when we first talked about having you on

Elijah:

and, and, and bringing up the topic here for me to challenge was okay, how

Elijah:

do we take this out of science fiction?

Elijah:

And how do we make it applicable, uh, you know, the present or future,

Elijah:

but how do we make it applicable to the executive protection industry?

Elijah:

Um, and you know, one of the things that I.

Elijah:

Directly relate to are, you know, at the airports and has some shopping malls

Elijah:

here in the states, you know, we've got the robots that are, that look more like

Elijah:

R2D2, you know, that are rolling around.

Elijah:

And, and to most people, it's a curiosity, you know, they, you know, okay, this is

Elijah:

either cool or this is going to cost some jobs, but people see them and notice them.

Elijah:

Um, I'm not sure if it's causing a change in behavior yet, or maybe you, you can

Elijah:

speak to that a little bit, but I can see.

Elijah:

The future is coming.

Elijah:

And so why?

Elijah:

I think it's great when we had the circuit kind of have a subject matter experts

Elijah:

like yourself on it's because you can help open up a window into how we can use this.

Elijah:

Yeah.

Elijah:

Yeah.

Mark Folmer:

I know.

Mark Folmer:

And that's a great point.

Mark Folmer:

And it's funny it's when you see that in terms of what people see

Mark Folmer:

and what people are used to, right.

Mark Folmer:

We just had, we just had one of our devices.

Mark Folmer:

It's called Romeo, right?

Mark Folmer:

It's seven feet tall weighs about a thousand pounds.

Mark Folmer:

It was just at the, uh, at the world.

Mark Folmer:

So it was, it was in Atlanta, uh, doing, doing some work alongside of security

Mark Folmer:

service, uh, folks that were there.

Mark Folmer:

And that was a lot of it.

Mark Folmer:

The, the interaction that we had initially was that curiosity, people walking up to

Mark Folmer:

it and trying to kind of figure it out.

Mark Folmer:

Okay, well, what's this thing doing?

Mark Folmer:

And part of, to me, the value of, of devices like this is, is

Mark Folmer:

encouraging that interactivity and allowing for that interactivity.

Mark Folmer:

So does the device, it can be as simple as does it have a.

Mark Folmer:

Right.

Mark Folmer:

Can someone walk up to it and ask it a question?

Mark Folmer:

And maybe that question now becomes, Hey, let's connect to a

Mark Folmer:

remote center somewhere, right?

Mark Folmer:

And now you're having a FaceTime call.

Mark Folmer:

Just like we're doing, we're doing this, this, this interview, this

Mark Folmer:

chat, this discussion right now, essentially as a FaceTime call.

Mark Folmer:

Hey, you know, do you need help?

Mark Folmer:

Hi, it's security operations center here.

Mark Folmer:

Do you need help?

Mark Folmer:

Can I help it yet?

Mark Folmer:

I don't know where my car is or yes, I do need help.

Mark Folmer:

My colleague, friends with her has tripped and fallen and so on.

Mark Folmer:

Okay, well now we know where you are, so that, so that we can help.

Mark Folmer:

And in terms of that sort of, you know, kind of frontline executive protection,

Mark Folmer:

you know, someone who's out in the field to me, it's, it's another tool.

Mark Folmer:

You know, currently accessible as part of that tool belt, you know, that, that,

Mark Folmer:

that internal, and whether that's, you know, the tool belts up here in terms of

Mark Folmer:

the knowledge and the expertise and, and, and, uh, and the, uh, the interaction with

Mark Folmer:

the public, but now it becomes, Hey, let's receive alerts, let's receive information.

Mark Folmer:

And then.

Mark Folmer:

The person can now discern between like, okay, so I don't have to

Mark Folmer:

worry about the, you know, trying to spot the needle in the haystack.

Mark Folmer:

I'm going to see the needle for what it's for what it is

Mark Folmer:

or a photo of what it's worth.

Elijah:

So in terms of how, how, how you look at the tech.

Elijah:

Do you see it kind of like a force multiplier where it's it?

Elijah:

You know, one of the challenges I have, uh, operationally is I always feel

Elijah:

like I need to clone myself and I, you know, and I, I can't be in two places

Elijah:

and as much as I try, um, and, and I would love to, you know, again, have

Elijah:

other agents out in the field with me on an assignment, but sometimes just

Elijah:

logistically, that just can't happen.

Elijah:

Uh, so do you see this as helping to not necessarily

Elijah:

replace that, but supplement it?

Mark Folmer:

Yeah.

Mark Folmer:

Yeah.

Mark Folmer:

I mean, felon is often use the word augment, right.

Mark Folmer:

And in our discussions that we've had in the past and different, different

Mark Folmer:

forums and so on, uh, it's augment, it's definitely extend the reach of right.

Mark Folmer:

Of, of the security team and then, and then drive the awareness.

Mark Folmer:

Right.

Mark Folmer:

So the security awareness of what's going on.

Mark Folmer:

And, and so if you have, if you're working on.

Mark Folmer:

You know, it could be a safety tool, right?

Mark Folmer:

So for you, as, as working alone, it could be that sort of first layer level

Mark Folmer:

of alert kind of saying, okay, I've got a bit of a perimeter, I've set it up.

Mark Folmer:

It has to be easy to set up, has to be easy to interact with.

Mark Folmer:

Right.

Mark Folmer:

Easy to connect to and so on.

Mark Folmer:

Um, now I know that someone or something is coming that I might need to react to.

Mark Folmer:

Oh, it's okay.

Mark Folmer:

It's the, you know, it's part of the, part of the group that

Mark Folmer:

I'm working with or whatever.

Mark Folmer:

So, so you know, what's happening.

Mark Folmer:

So again, it's kind of extending.

Mark Folmer:

Uh, augmenting, you know, the value and, and, and providing a value, add to

Mark Folmer:

the person that said that's there and essentially giving them access to that,

Mark Folmer:

to that information that they might not have had, um, working on their own

Phelim:

already.

Phelim:

I can see just a few very simple use cases.

Phelim:

Imagine you're on a detail and you're looking after the penthouse

Phelim:

suite, you can plop that thing down by the lifts or by the doors.

Phelim:

I could, I can see that, or I can see you want some residential protection,

Phelim:

but you want to be a little smarter.

Phelim:

You can send that around the perimeter on the outside, and then you can do a

Phelim:

more asymmetric route on the inside.

Phelim:

I don't know.

Phelim:

I think, I think there's already uses for this, but what I can see happening

Phelim:

is other shapes, you know, don't have a preconceived shape, like the.

Phelim:

Uh, robots or like, uh, flying a UAV.

Phelim:

Is that our robots?

Phelim:

What do you think would be the most ideal shape?

Phelim:

Uh, I Elijah, because I can imagine having some canines in the boot

Phelim:

of the car and bringing them out.

Elijah:

Um, well, it's funny because again, we were talking about this, you

Elijah:

know, my mind drifts to science fiction, and I remember minority report and he had

Elijah:

to do this investigation and he reaches in his bag and he pulls out these, uh,

Elijah:

you know, little walk-in spiders, which go on their door and give him a view

Elijah:

of what the areas and, and, you know, so when you, when you, aren't afraid of

Elijah:

tech, you can, you can definitely use.

Elijah:

So to your, to your advantage, I guess the question that I would pose though,

Elijah:

is how do we, or how do you educate us as protectors as well as the client?

Elijah:

Because this is such an unknown.

Elijah:

And, and because the only thing maybe in terms of their frame of

Elijah:

reference is, you know, science.

Mark Folmer:

You just touched on, I think the biggest point sort of

Mark Folmer:

sore point soft point hard point to deal with is industry acceptance.

Mark Folmer:

Right?

Mark Folmer:

So, so from this very traditional, you know, industry, that's, that's

Mark Folmer:

not necessarily super open to change and, and it's normal for it not to be

Mark Folmer:

based on, on what the industry does.

Mark Folmer:

Right.

Mark Folmer:

We're protecting assets, we're protecting people.

Mark Folmer:

So.

Mark Folmer:

It's part of our DNA to be a little bit skeptical of, of what's coming up.

Mark Folmer:

Right.

Mark Folmer:

I mean, you kind of worry about what's going on.

Mark Folmer:

And, and so that, that, that to me is definitely the biggest challenge.

Mark Folmer:

So that inertia getting over that sort of adoption, or that change, that change

Mark Folmer:

management change management piece.

Mark Folmer:

And then, um, just being open to the idea.

Mark Folmer:

So looking at the different functions that would cause, I mean, we all

Mark Folmer:

know that security is as much about security as it is about.

Mark Folmer:

Right.

Mark Folmer:

So when we're looking at that kind of range of different, different things in

Mark Folmer:

different times, what do I do in my day?

Mark Folmer:

Or what does the team do?

Mark Folmer:

Or what does the company do in a day that absolutely needs to be done by a

Mark Folmer:

person and which parts are like, and which parts are your teams completely.

Mark Folmer:

It's like, oh, you know, Hey Elijah, I'm so tired of doing this bit or that kind of

Mark Folmer:

follow up or that kind of, and then you're just kind of like, well, wait a minute.

Mark Folmer:

If I can have a device, do some of that stuff, then they can focus

Mark Folmer:

on the stuff that they like to do.

Mark Folmer:

Right.

Mark Folmer:

And what you've done there is now you've just driven engagement.

Mark Folmer:

Right?

Mark Folmer:

So now the, the, an engaged agent is always a better agent, right?

Mark Folmer:

An engaged person is always a better one, performing better and performing,

Mark Folmer:

uh, up to, up to the standards.

Mark Folmer:

W

Phelim:

what about, if something a little bit more.

Phelim:

I'm not, I'm not talking about AP colleagues that go into hot zones

Phelim:

and charge a lot for the, you know, the, their day rate and all that.

Phelim:

But I'm thinking maybe event security may be in a more routine, uh, operation.

Phelim:

Um, how, how does a day rate?

Phelim:

I know this is very, very speculative, right.

Phelim:

But how does the day rate for an EPA agent, uh, in a normal

Phelim:

day to day operation compared to the rental of a robot?

Phelim:

right now?

Mark Folmer:

Yeah.

Mark Folmer:

Typically there's a significant return on investment, right?

Mark Folmer:

So what you can say is, and actually a couple of reasons, so it's challenging

Mark Folmer:

to find people for roles today, right?

Mark Folmer:

If you have more, we'll go back to engagement, you have more engaging roles,

Mark Folmer:

it will be easier to fill those roles, but for the ones that are just kind of like.

Mark Folmer:

I dunno, maybe paint that paint a bit of a bad picture.

Mark Folmer:

You it's sort of the, the overnight shift outdoors in,

Mark Folmer:

you know, questionable climate.

Mark Folmer:

It's just, you know, Hey, I want the day shift, you know, in California

Mark Folmer:

where it's 80 degrees and sunny, right.

Mark Folmer:

And, or the night shift when it's 80 degrees and whatever.

Mark Folmer:

So, so that, that can be that.

Mark Folmer:

So if the choices he, nobody or.

Mark Folmer:

Uh, the right person, augmented with devices and, and, and solutions.

Mark Folmer:

And that to me is, is the, is absolutely the winning combo.

Mark Folmer:

But.

Mark Folmer:

Uh, regardless, I mean, in most cases, in most situations that we're dealing

Mark Folmer:

with on that more mundane, you know, kind of big event, large scale event,

Mark Folmer:

you know, sort of big teams, you know, stadium venues, uh, for an example, uh,

Mark Folmer:

you know, maybe amusement parks and so on where you have a lot of people kind

Mark Folmer:

of working at, uh, at special events.

Mark Folmer:

Well, let's take away some of the, you know, that that's a, Hey, I'd

Mark Folmer:

love to do a perimeter patrol back there, but we're short someone.

Mark Folmer:

So that's the role.

Mark Folmer:

Well, you know what?

Mark Folmer:

Let's have a couple of devices do that.

Mark Folmer:

And there won't be the spiders that Elijah was talking about

Mark Folmer:

before, but it will be, you know, probably surface mounted devices.

Mark Folmer:

It could be roaming devices, you know, it could be a mixture of

Elijah:

different things.

Elijah:

Well, you know, when I, when I think about it, Again, from the

Elijah:

perspective of, of, uh, someone that does executive protection.

Elijah:

I know to your point that some of us are resistant to change.

Elijah:

Industry-wide the other point is, is that there is some self-preservation built into

Elijah:

that, uh, you know, much like the auto industry, uh, when they went from just the

Elijah:

assembly line to, to, you know, adding the industrialization and the robots there.

Elijah:

So where's the.

Elijah:

What's the counter to that, to the people that are listening to this and going well,

Elijah:

I don't want to recommend myself out of a.

Mark Folmer:

To me, the counter to that is, I mean, obviously

Mark Folmer:

educating the client, right?

Mark Folmer:

I mean, I think we want to work with the best clients is, is, is part of it.

Mark Folmer:

So, so having the client kind of see, Hey, I'm delivering

Mark Folmer:

more than just my presence here.

Mark Folmer:

I'm delivering tools that are gonna back be.

Mark Folmer:

Right.

Mark Folmer:

So yeah, you go to your example earlier about, Hey,

Mark Folmer:

I'm maybe working alone, right.

Mark Folmer:

Or, or, uh, you know, I would like to be too, but budget situation, whatever.

Mark Folmer:

It's just not, not worth it.

Mark Folmer:

Well, now it's just, it's uh, offering.

Mark Folmer:

Um, more than just the one person it's I'm, uh, I'm actually offering insights,

Mark Folmer:

skill, coverage, data, maybe too.

Mark Folmer:

Right.

Mark Folmer:

I mean, part of the, what the devices are doing is they're gathering information,

Mark Folmer:

they're gathering data, you know, the example that I use of, you know, the,

Mark Folmer:

is it, is it that the child picking up the ball that rolled across the field?

Mark Folmer:

Or is it a personnel that's actually sticking out as you know, then

Mark Folmer:

you kind of see them repeatedly.

Mark Folmer:

Well, in the back of your mind, you might think, Hey, that

Mark Folmer:

is that same person or not.

Mark Folmer:

Maybe the jacket's just a little different.

Mark Folmer:

I kind of recognize the, you know, it's just, Hey, I can go back

Mark Folmer:

and actually look at footage.

Mark Folmer:

I can go back and look at alerts, right?

Mark Folmer:

That the, that the device pushed to me and whether that's, you know,

Mark Folmer:

directly on my mobile device or back in a, in an operation center that

Mark Folmer:

we have, we have somewhere else.

Mark Folmer:

And last point on this one is, think about the remote capability.

Mark Folmer:

You know, all of these devices are connected, whether it's wifi

Mark Folmer:

cellular, they're connected somehow.

Mark Folmer:

So you might be alone.

Mark Folmer:

In the field, but maybe you have a team somewhere else, right.

Mark Folmer:

That, that has your back.

Mark Folmer:

Uh, and then, and then can do some of that work for you or with you.

Mark Folmer:

Well then, well then mark,

Phelim:

let's bring some of it to life.

Phelim:

What, what can you add on to these robots currently?

Phelim:

You know, we, we hear about non-ionizing nosing radiation, uh, in, in, in

Phelim:

the, in the airports so they can find out, do you have a weapon?

Phelim:

Um, what are some of the uses that today people can, can use them for?.

Mark Folmer:

And I mean, if, if I, if I stay right in our swim

Mark Folmer:

lane and things that we're really doing, we're really focused on the

Mark Folmer:

security service aspects, right?

Mark Folmer:

So from a very basic, um, intrusion detection, trespassing type detection,

Mark Folmer:

whether that's, you know, human detection, uh, analytics, vehicle

Mark Folmer:

detection, analytics, face mask scoring analytics, which is kind of, you know,

Mark Folmer:

common commonplace today, uh, loitering.

Mark Folmer:

Right.

Mark Folmer:

So the, these different types of detections can now help you sort of

Mark Folmer:

pinpoint what's what's going on, um, in terms of tracking and making information

Mark Folmer:

accessible to the people that need it.

Mark Folmer:

Now you think about, so maybe, you know, as the, as the EAP person or as

Mark Folmer:

a security person, that's out in the field, you have information and you're

Mark Folmer:

looking at it from a certain perspective.

Mark Folmer:

But maybe there are other groups, you know, someone in operations, someone

Mark Folmer:

in human resources, someone in, uh, in facility management, whatever that also

Mark Folmer:

now need information and maybe marketing, you know, Hey, how many people are

Mark Folmer:

coming in at 10 o'clock at night, 11 o'clock, you know, so kind of getting

Mark Folmer:

those sort of insights or it kind of goes back to pulling that, that data

Mark Folmer:

that, uh, that comes out of, uh, of the.

Phelim:

I like that because, you know, last week or the week before

Phelim:

we had a nice session and we said, well, nobody knows the principal,

Phelim:

as well as security, really?

Phelim:

Even, even some of the members of the family, you either

Phelim:

don't know them that well.

Phelim:

And to be able to notice things that is, of course the APS job being observant,

Phelim:

being, being, being very much on the ball.

Phelim:

So I don't know, Elijah, maybe if.

Phelim:

W, what do you think you would want out of a robot?

Phelim:

Like what would you actually have, w would you want those spiders, uh, would,

Phelim:

would you, would you want a canine?

Phelim:

Um, w w what, what would you be after?

Elijah:

Well, I, you know, w w when I think about this, and I

Elijah:

think about the possibilities, you know, I just find the most value.

Elijah:

And having another set of eyes that I can tap into, you know, and, and to

Elijah:

your point about the data collection that comes with that, because even,

Elijah:

um, I just got off of a, uh, uh, a big tour with the entertainment just

Elijah:

now and having a team of 12 that were out with us and they might see some.

Elijah:

But then they still have to communicate that information back to me, uh, while

Elijah:

the performance is going on in real time, it allowed environment, uh, you

Elijah:

know, while I've got things going on.

Elijah:

So something that can, can package that or process that, or I can

Elijah:

pull up quickly has value to me.

Elijah:

And I, and I can see that again, applicable, you know, in other

Elijah:

scenarios in corporate environments.

Elijah:

With the clergy, when you have the guests that are coming in, uh,

Elijah:

into church or something, you know, where something, somebody screening

Elijah:

them, uh, and something is picking up the anomalies, the anomalies,

Elijah:

something that's happening that.

Elijah:

And so, so as we talk about it, I can see value in that.

Elijah:

And I can see, you know, once the right case is made, how the client

Elijah:

could see value in it, because that's how I would look at it.

Elijah:

You know, I can't convince the client.

Elijah:

That to buy a new rifle, you know it, and yes, this has a great scope or yes,

Elijah:

this has a wonderful grip that guns are good to them, but I can't talk to

Elijah:

them about some features on a piece of tech that will save them time or money.

Mark Folmer:

Yeah.

Mark Folmer:

What's in it for them.

Mark Folmer:

Right.

Mark Folmer:

I mean, that's, that's, that's what it comes down to.

Mark Folmer:

It's you're bringing the value to that, or a different perspective of

Mark Folmer:

value to that, to that situation.

Phelim:

You know, even out of your swim lane, right.

Phelim:

Even out of that, uh, let, let let's, let's go wild.

Phelim:

Where is this headed?

Phelim:

Are we all going to have a case?

Phelim:

Are we all going to have some sort of thing we throw up in the air and it's

Phelim:

our buddy that will watch over us on an operation, paint, paint, maybe the most

Phelim:

exotic picture that, that you can foresee.

Mark Folmer:

But, but it's funny.

Mark Folmer:

It's funny you say that that's part of the hesitation, right?

Mark Folmer:

It's part of it is people have seen.

Mark Folmer:

Right.

Mark Folmer:

And we, we, we, we have a partnership with, with, uh, with a company that,

Mark Folmer:

uh, that does that sort of form factor.

Mark Folmer:

And people react very differently when they see it.

Mark Folmer:

Some people flock to it cause they want to pet it for lack of a better word.

Mark Folmer:

They want to kind of see it interact.

Mark Folmer:

Other people take a step back on like, Hey, what's this gonna do to me?

Mark Folmer:

You know, uh, sort of thing.

Mark Folmer:

So, I mean, if we're looking, you know, really wait way beyond you think of.

Mark Folmer:

You know, even, I mean, I'm looking at my cell phone on my desk here

Mark Folmer:

next to me, in theory, you know, we have a lot of that information that

Mark Folmer:

power in our, in our pockets already.

Mark Folmer:

Now can our cell phone, you know, sort of, you know, jump out

Mark Folmer:

and, uh, and trip somebody up.

Mark Folmer:

But no, not yet.

Mark Folmer:

Uh, but I, but I, uh, I think that, you know, Phelim you talked about,

Mark Folmer:

you know, what are they drones?

Mark Folmer:

You know, what, what, what else could, can a robot look like?

Mark Folmer:

Can it be the dog?

Mark Folmer:

Can it be the person walking along, you know, uh, uh, walking

Mark Folmer:

with your kids to school, uh, driving somebody somewhere, right?

Mark Folmer:

You think about autonomous driving vehicles, right?

Mark Folmer:

I mean, a lot of that is happening.

Mark Folmer:

It happens today, you know?

Mark Folmer:

I mean, I haven't seen it yet on the highway, the person, uh, the person,

Mark Folmer:

you know, sort of sitting back in their car, re you know, reading a

Mark Folmer:

book or watching a movie like this.

Mark Folmer:

But, but it's out there right today that there, there are these autonomous driving

Mark Folmer:

trucks and vehicles and, uh, and so on.

Mark Folmer:

But, um, part of it is, and you think about security from the point

Mark Folmer:

of view of that peace of mind for oneself, uh, you know, what, what

Mark Folmer:

can someone carry as their, uh, as their, uh, their personal body guard,

Mark Folmer:

you know, that they have in their, in their backpack or their, their coat

Mark Folmer:

pocket, maybe, maybe it is the spider.

Mark Folmer:

You know that Elijah brought up that, uh, that'll eventually come out there.

Mark Folmer:

Um, if, of course there's a couple of different factors, you know, cost to

Mark Folmer:

me, the technology is there, right?

Mark Folmer:

The, the connectivity, the settler, the, the, the, the 5g networks are,

Mark Folmer:

are definitely strong enough to be pushing information back and forth

Mark Folmer:

and, and controlling these things.

Mark Folmer:

But how do you, um, how do you create, you know, a device that you can turn on

Mark Folmer:

and it automatically knows who you are.

Mark Folmer:

Right, because if it's going to be protecting you, who, you know

Mark Folmer:

who you are and then who the, who the bad person is, you know, that

Mark Folmer:

they're, uh, that they're out there.

Mark Folmer:

But I think that we can, uh, let our imaginations go wild, but I don't

Mark Folmer:

know how, how beneficial that would be to, uh, to overall adoption.

Elijah:

I, uh, I know we had to be mindful of time.

Elijah:

You've got to get out of here, but, uh, and this episode is

Elijah:

going to air after the conference.

Elijah:

Um, but.

Elijah:

But I hopefully the listeners would have had a chance to catch you there.

Elijah:

And then also pick this one up because it is a topic that's, that's interesting.

Elijah:

And we'd love to have you

Mark Folmer:

back.

Mark Folmer:

Super.

Mark Folmer:

It was, it was a lot of fun.

Mark Folmer:

And I think I need to, I need to watch minority report again, just

Mark Folmer:

because it's been, it's been awhile.

Mark Folmer:

So I think that's what I'm going to do this weekend.

Phelim:

This is exciting and obviously a little bit intimidating if you look at it

Phelim:

as replacement, but much more exciting if you look at it in terms of augmentation.

Phelim:

Fantastic.

Phelim:

Well from Elijah, myself, mark, this has been a pleasure having

Mark Folmer:

you on.

Mark Folmer:

All right, guys.

Mark Folmer:

Appreciate it.

Phelim:

Okay.

Phelim:

So maybe not the spiders, but certainly very useful, very current.

Phelim:

They're there for you now, to be honest, I don't know if everyone could afford it.

Phelim:

The price will certainly come down.

Phelim:

What, what did you take away from today's session, Elijah?

Phelim:

Well,

Elijah:

hopefully I didn't geek out too bad, but you know, I'm a film school

Elijah:

major, so I have relate everything back to movies, but one of the things

Elijah:

that, uh, I thought was really great about mark was that he was able to

Elijah:

take, you know, again, these, these future concepts and show us how they're

Elijah:

tangible and exists in the real world.

Elijah:

And so using those examples of.

Elijah:

Having a robot, you know, at a, at a football field or having a robot at

Elijah:

the entry to, uh, any event or as we see them right now, you know, inside an

Elijah:

airport or a mall, you can see how it, it augments that existing security team.

Elijah:

And, and we can apply that same type of concept to executive protection.

Elijah:

Uh, you know, if we have the buy-in, uh, if we have the budget or we

Elijah:

have the buy-in from the client,

Phelim:

Imagine you rented or had a canine, an actual dog with a

Phelim:

specific purpose, maybe it's for explosives, maybe it's for people.

Phelim:

I don't know whatever that talent is.

Phelim:

Well, that dog is not going to take your.

Phelim:

Yeah.

Phelim:

And maybe that's how we need to look at it.

Phelim:

It's therefore a role and it's a part of your team, but it's

Phelim:

just another asset in your team.

Phelim:

So I I'm greatly encouraged.

Phelim:

And, and of course, it's great to, uh, to talk to mark.

Phelim:

Mark has been that thought it was a cool episode.

Phelim:

Yeah.

Phelim:

He's, he's great.

Phelim:

And he's been doing some great things, especially with LSS and,

Phelim:

uh, and the wider community.

Phelim:

What about you?

Phelim:

I haven't seen you in a while.

Phelim:

You've been rather tied up.

Phelim:

What have you been on.

Elijah:

Yeah, man.

Elijah:

In fact, I haven't been on the podcast for a few episodes.

Elijah:

It's really bummed me out.

Elijah:

Um, so I ran the, uh, we just completed, uh, a us tour for a musical artist

Elijah:

and it was the largest tour, um, in that musical genre that happened,

Elijah:

you know, since COVID so, um, pretty.

Elijah:

You know, uh, log logged, a few frequent flyer miles and

Elijah:

also some over the road miles.

Elijah:

Um, we hit a number of cities and, and it was about two months of operation for

Elijah:

me, but the, the tour re uh, ran a month and I just got home a couple of days ago.

Elijah:

So it was nice to stick to my own

Phelim:

bed.

Phelim:

Love it.

Phelim:

Yeah, absolutely.

Phelim:

Everyone can relate to that.

Phelim:

And, but what about those EAP operators out there who have not yet

Phelim:

ventured out into the big wide world?

Phelim:

What have you been surprised to see.

Elijah:

Yeah.

Elijah:

And you know, obviously it depends on the geography, but what's surprising

Elijah:

is, is that depending on where you are.

Elijah:

You would think that nothing has happened that, that the last, you know, 14

Elijah:

months didn't happen in terms of this worldwide pandemic just didn't exist

Elijah:

or you go somewhere and then there are so many new rules and do's, and don'ts.

Elijah:

Uh, you know, with the idea to try and keep people safe, that you have

Elijah:

to factor that into your protective operations, because it changes

Elijah:

that dynamic, uh, significantly.

Elijah:

So if you think about it, just, you know, go way to think about is, you

Elijah:

know, uh, pre nine 11 and post nine 11.

Elijah:

It's a lot easier to go into the airport, you know, before, um, you know, the, the

Elijah:

towers came down and then after that, with the introduction of all of the systems

Elijah:

and the processes to try and keep people safe, it became much more challenging,

Elijah:

uh, in terms of the ease of it.

Elijah:

And so, so that's, what's happening in this environment.

Elijah:

I mean, just with the team that I was traveling with, um, we had to

Elijah:

have a COVID compliance manager with us, so, so one of our team, we got

Elijah:

to two, actually we got certified.

Elijah:

Uh, we have to do regular testing for ourselves.

Elijah:

As well as the protectee, as well as the people that were

Elijah:

going to be around the protectee.

Elijah:

Um, and, uh, thankfully that, you know, we were able to, to, um, to get back without

Elijah:

any incidents, but there were a couple of major tours, uh, on the rock side that

Elijah:

had to cancel because they had cases.

Elijah:

So we had to treat a seriously and it was a challenge, but, uh,

Elijah:

again, uh, everything wrapped up.

Phelim:

Could you have used a robot?

Elijah:

That is

Phelim:

the question.

Phelim:

Uh, no, I love it.

Phelim:

And it's great.

Phelim:

Great to have you back.

Phelim:

And hopefully we'll see more short and, uh, and, and it

Phelim:

all sorts of things like that.

Phelim:

Um, on, on my side, on what's coming up, I am busy working away

Phelim:

on something for the second magazine for the 19th of November, and it's

Phelim:

going to be good for the UK time zone.

Phelim:

Good for the PST time zone.

Phelim:

And then.

Phelim:

Towards the latter half good for the Australian time zone, because we're

Phelim:

going to look at workplace violence.

Phelim:

Now this, this could be active shooter.

Phelim:

It could be other types of violence.

Phelim:

And this is really looking towards people getting back to normal, but yet.

Phelim:

Having trouble and having conflict.

Phelim:

And I think it's really going to be a Zeit Geist type of episode.

Phelim:

Um, and we will release some, uh, some, some details for that.

Phelim:

But if you, if you, as a, as an audience could save the 19th of November,

Phelim:

uh, in the UK evening and the PST afternoon and the Australian early

Phelim:

morning, that would be very nice.

Phelim:

Um,

Elijah:

Well, the, the thing I think is really cool about the circuit

Elijah:

media is that we're always trying to bring new topics, uh, new symposiums,

Elijah:

uh, new episodes of the podcast, uh, that touch on a wide range of,

Elijah:

of, um, of areas in our industry.

Elijah:

And so w even, you know, talking about, again, workplace violence,

Elijah:

if, if, if we're doing corporate protection, That matters to you.

Elijah:

If you've got a client that goes into the office, I mean, heck if you've got

Elijah:

a spouse that goes into the office, even things that, that are important.

Elijah:

And so it was great to get these panelists on and get these different perspectives,

Elijah:

particularly from subject matter experts that you know, that you could access.

Elijah:

You know, from your own home, you know, we can sign on wherever you are in

Elijah:

the world here from Australia to the United States, to the United Kingdom.

Elijah:

Uh, we can all get together, um, uh, absorbs a few jewels, take some from

Elijah:

some, some notes, get some good takeaways, and then hopefully that will help

Elijah:

us further our individual endeavors.

Phelim:

Indeed.

Phelim:

And, and those, those individual endeavors actually have played out also on our apps.

Phelim:

Haven't they?

Phelim:

Because yes, our apps, the number protector and the BBA connect app,

Phelim:

uh, you know, it's a nice opportunity for people to share content, keep

Phelim:

in touch and, and there is a social aspect to it, but I've noticed an

Phelim:

increasing number of people saying.

Phelim:

Can somebody help me here?

Elijah:

I mean, I think that's one of the most striking features about both of the

Elijah:

apps is that you can find what you need.

Elijah:

If you put the request in, you know, the, the membership is there, the people

Elijah:

that are coming there and it's such a diverse group, so it's from all over.

Elijah:

So, you know, there was somebody on there that, that, that

Elijah:

needed some resources in Syria.

Elijah:

They actually got put in touch with somebody through the app.

Elijah:

So I think that's a, uh, it's amazing.

Elijah:

Uh, I think, um, as the acts continue to grow, that pool gets larger and

Elijah:

larger, so that network expands more and more, you know, um, it's the

Elijah:

same idea that LinkedIn has the same idea that, uh, Facebook has, but we

Elijah:

just, um, To the security community.

Elijah:

And I think that has

Phelim:

benefited.

Phelim:

It has, and it's nice to see the wider corporate security community, including

Phelim:

some end customers, uh, getting into.

Phelim:

Uh, of course it's primarily IUPY.

Phelim:

I know that, but, but it's nice to see the community come together.

Phelim:

And what else have we got coming up?

Phelim:

Because I know there's, there's a variety of events.

Phelim:

There's of course the IPS be in Vegas in December.

Phelim:

Of

Elijah:

course let's bring up Vegas

Phelim:

brother.

Phelim:

Okay.

Phelim:

Well, Vegas, you know, it's, it's, it's, it's a great event.

Phelim:

Uh, it's going to be eighth to the 10th of December in the west gate and.

Phelim:

Yeah, I think the community is really looking forward to

Phelim:

going back and getting together.

Phelim:

Um,

Elijah:

well, here's something cool.

Elijah:

I am planning on attending, uh, that the universe has worked against

Elijah:

me the last couple of years have always been away on assignment.

Elijah:

So my plan is to be there.

Elijah:

So if you guys are listening and you see me around, please say, hello.

Elijah:

Uh, tell me how much you hate my speaking voice on the circuit, uh, podcast.

Elijah:

Uh, It's a

Phelim:

great voice.

Phelim:

It's very, it's, it's very, it has gravitas.

Phelim:

There we go.

Phelim:

And people should be able to see me because I'm moderating a panel, but

Phelim:

let's see if I can make it happen.

Phelim:

Um, so, so yeah, Vegas is going to be great.

Phelim:

I I'm I'm I'm I think the, the community is really looking forward to it.

Phelim:

Ooh, for those of you in the UK, on the Saturday, the 13th.

Phelim:

There is, uh, an EAP event in the victory services club.

Phelim:

And I definitely will be there.

Phelim:

And that is quite UK specific, but if you are listening and you're from the

Phelim:

UK, you know it the 13th of November, and I'm going to see you there.

Phelim:

So lots to play for really, and we need to see how the winter plays out, but

Phelim:

there's going to be room for more meetups.

Phelim:

There's going to be room for more collaboration.

Phelim:

Yeah.

Elijah:

As, as the world opens up, you know, we've all got big plans in terms

Elijah:

of, uh, increasing the networking, increasing our exposure, um, in terms of

Elijah:

the circuit magazine and circuit media.

Elijah:

So, so w w we we'll try and move around, uh, and be able to press the flesh.

Elijah:

Virtual is great, but I mean,

Phelim:

And if we can't be in two places at once, we could send

Phelim:

a robot version of ourselves.

Elijah:

Here we go.

Elijah:

All right, everybody.

Elijah:

I recommend you like subscribe and share to help us get the word out.

Elijah:

We appreciate you, and we will see you

Phelim:

next time.

Phelim:

Thanks very much.

Phelim:

See you soon.

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