Robots Provide Security Assistance at Pima Community College

On the campuses of Pima Community College in Tucson, Ariz., a new security force has been out on patrol, learning the ropes before students return to campus full time. An egg-shaped security robot on wheels has been placed into service to act as a mobile security camera, emergency call box, first-alarm-raiser, and more.

“He’ll be able to go through the parking lots, and we can program different license plates that he can look for, and he’ll let us know, ‘Hey, this car is in the parking lot,’” said Lt. Jonathan Haywood. “And he also just acts as a deterrent. We have a lot of foot traffic here, especially at this campus. And if someone doesn’t need to be here and they see the robot running around, it may make them think twice about being here without a real reason.”

The robot is programmed so that its route covers all the necessary areas of campus. It also features a button that students or staff can press to connect them with emergency dispatch. So far, though, more passersby have approached it out of curiosity or to snap a selfie.

“It’s kind of like we’re living in a modern era though, with technology, so that’s why it’s kind of normal to me,” said student Elizabeth Barrios.

“The robot patrols our campus 24/7/365,” said Pima Community College Police Department Commander Ricardo Gutierrez. “It could alert us to the person being on campus after hours … The robot has the capabilities of detecting a person (not actual facial recognition), and it also has the ability to read license plates in case we wanted it to read a license plate for us.”

It costs about $80,000 annually to lease the robot, said a spokesperson from the college.

About the Author

Matt Jones is senior editor of Spaces4Learning and Campus Security and Life Safety. He can be reached at


  • Expanding Mobile Access Credentials

    The new academic year is now kicking into high gear at colleges and universities, and on many campuses, students were welcomed this fall with the added convenience and security of mobile access credentials. It is a trend that has become more of an expectation than a surprise in the world of higher education as the demand for advancements in electronic access control (EAC) like mobile credentials continues to grow. Read Now

  • New York School District Selects AtlasIED’s IPX Technology for Modernization Initiative

    The North Syracuse Central School District (NSCSD), a K-12 public school district in Central New York state, serves the communities of North Syracuse, Clay, Cicero, Bridgeport, and Mattydale. With 11 elementary, middle, and high schools, the district covers almost 90 square miles and has 7,792 students and approximately 700 teachers. With some of its school buildings over 60 years old, the district needed to renovate many of them, some more urgently than others. As part of the process, district administrators and staff reevaluated all infrastructure elements and their approach to campus safety, selecting AtlasIED IPX technology to modernize their intercom, audio announcements, and emergency communications systems. Read Now

  • New York Lifts Ban on Biometric Technologies in K-12 Schools

    New York Lifts Ban on Biometric Technologies in K-12 Schools

    On Sept. 27, 2023, New York State Department of Education Commissioner Betty A. Rosa issued a determination that lifted the nearly three-year ban on use of biometric technologies in both public and private K-12 schools in effect from December 2020 Read Now