Simply ingenious, Security Robotics convinces in live test on the MDR premises in Leipzig

Request from TV station MDR

Many company homepages are emblazoned with terms such as agile, innovative, flexible, customer-oriented and they refer to presenting THE individual solution as a matter of course and at lightning speed. However, this "lightning speed" often turns into lengthy projects and countless preparations have to be made until everything works as desired. Does it have to be like that?

Our core services include Software as a Service (Saas) and Robot as a Service (RaaS), an approach that fundamentally requires a high degree of flexibility in thinking and acting thanks to a wide variety of customers, locations, projects, networks, interfaces etc. The Security Robotics team wasonce again put to the test during a long and hot day of shooting in the middle of booming Leipzig. And what do you think, how successful and "lightning fast" were we?

Whether a local or a Leipzig tourist, every visitor to the trade fair city is probably familiar with the sight of the MDR tower block. Visually modelled on a TV screen, the headquarters of Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk towers 13 storeys high south of the city centre. 25 years ago, the most modern ARD broadcasting station was built on the site of a state-owned GDR slaughterhouse. Many an old hall had to make way for the new building, but what remains are historic brick buildings, a small park and a very extensive area.

We mainly produce news programmes, various entertainment series and, in our case, an episode for the MDR format "Einfach Genial". This programme aims to present innovations, cool inventions and simply remarkable things from Central Germany, from the practical ideas of "small" amateurfinders to globally  elevant approaches. So it's no wonder that "the guys with the robots" also came to their attention and we received an enquiry a few weeks before filming began.

The TV Contribution

We had already gained experience with recording teams from regional stations, MDR aktuell, radio programmes etc. and were therefore looking forward to what was to come. Dr. Köhler, an editor at Maximus Film, the production company The director, who was behind reports for Galileo, the Discovery Channel and various MDR programmes, visited our test site, met our team, inspected the robots and quickly developed an idea for the  design of the TV report. Scheduled as a full day of filming, the robotic solutions were to be presented on our premises and shown in action together. In  addition, there were some interviews, close-ups, etc., nothing that we hadn't already shown and done several times.

But if you want to present something in  the best possible  way to those viewers who have not yet had any contact with security robots, sometimes you have to think and do things differently. And so the  filming location changed to the MDR premises, the filming time to day + night and, as a treat on top, it would be our task to uncover a (planned) theft.

It sounded like a challenging and exciting day :)

Tuesday morning. One day before filming began, Mr. Köhler showed us around the area and we got an impression of its size, the many corners, Traffic-heavy Zones, areas that should be used for the shoot, others that should be excluded. Securing such a labyrinthine terrain is something quite different than the classic factory hall and its perimeter. Above all, however, it became clear that we could rely neither on stable network nor WLAN coverage could.

Let us summarise

We did not know the terrain completely, had poor geodata, unreliable communication we and little time to set up networks, create patrol routes, carry out test runs, develop a Set up a command centre, show off all the robots and finally find a culprit in the to catch him in the pitch dark. Sounded like a challenging and exciting day :)

Shooting day begins

Wednesday morning, shooting day: We had already loaded one van the night before, the second one followed. We packed monitors, cables, masts, tools,  charging stations, batteries, laptops, the robots themselves and all kinds of odds and ends into the vans to the maximum, and then we were off to the south of Leipzig.

To add some spice to the day, we were expecting the hottest temperatures to date with almost 40°C...in the shade! A real test of endurance for man  and material.

Ready for use

Wednesday afternoon, 4 pm. We met up punctually with the filming team, consisting of 2 cameramen, a sound technician, the director Mr. Köhler and the presenter from "Simply Brilliant" Henriette Fee Grützner. Probably every film wants to build up an arc of suspense, tell a story and feel "rounded". That's why it was decided to shoot various scenes, introductory shots, individual shots with the robots in various forms. Environment, indoors & outdoors, robots demonstrating their off-road capabilities, etc. Very routinely, the technicians made their equipment ready for use, then off to scene.

Wednesday evening, 9 pm, twilight time. Despite the scorching sun and occasional minor technical obstacles, most of the scenes were in the can. ARGUS, SPOT and BEE reliably showed their skills, drove, ran, flogged and let themselves be marvelled at, guided over stumbling blocks and also manually steered by Henriette. We explained details,  also about the networking, software development and the integration of robots into existing security solutions. Intensive talks were held on the core service of Security Robotics, which is not the sale of robots but the development of software. of platform solutions to facilitate integration, machine-to-machine  communication and connectivity. and sustainable use in the first place.

The burglar

Wednesday, 11 pm. For the highlight of the day and as practical proof of the efficiency of robotic security systems, a test had been devised. An unreal offender, of course, who is himself a security expert and works in the industry, i.e. knows all the ins and outs, would try to enter the guarded area undetected  and steal objects from a box. Our task was to establish the offence and inform the control centre about it. To be fair, the young man had not only informed himself about the robots' capabilities, but had also probed the terrain.

So he knew where which systems operated, how far their sensors reached and what we could see on our monitors. of data were offered.

Offenders pursued by ARGUS, SPOT and BEE

Wednesday, midnight. Henriette and the three of us sat at the monitors of our makeshift operations centre and waited until the culprit would approach the  stolen goods in accordance with his mission. Meanwhile, ARGUS followed its programmed route, SPOT ran various neuralgic hotspots and BEE launched  regularly for air patrol.

The overlapping sensor areas and different camera types (normal light, 360°, residual light, infrared, etc.) provided us with a lot of  information. The interplay of the robots provides a comprehensive picture of the situation. But the culprit was also clever. Again and again he appeared only very  briefly on the sidelines of the action. up, retreated again, bypassing the individual robots and stalking closer and closer to the object. Finally, deftly, the  many bushes, Using trees and shady corners, he reached the box, thought he was safe and opened it.

Caught in the act

It was precisely at this moment, in the act, so to speak, that we intervened. The hooded man had long since been spotted by drone, marked and reported to  the control centre, which immediately sent another robot on its way. This is a common procedure to verify potential alarm cases and intervene if necessary.  While the security robots normally follow their routines 100% reliably, unaffected by weather and temperature conditions or darkness, it has proven its worth to also take direct control in the event of an alarm. Only, in this case, no guard set off, but SPOT walked purposefully to the alarm location. Surprised, the culprit  tried to hide behind the box or at least avoid identification. Recognised, identified and at that moment even spoken to live and loudly directly. He had no choice  but to flee. Mission fulfilled!

The performer of the intruder was impressed

Thursday, very early in the morning. When, after intensive preparations and hours of shooting, the long day ends with a clear success, the tension literally falls off even the strongest shoulders. And so the now no longer "Vermummte", the filming team and also our team in the lobby of the MDR high-rise building. Here  at the switching point, which we were able to set up in the perfect place thanks to the helpful support of the MDR building technicians (thanks guys!), we came  to a final scene and the "Manoeuvre critique" together.

The performer of the intruder in particular was impressed by the ability of the networked robots and told us about the difficulties and sweaty attempts he had  to make just to enter and cross the terrain. Again and again he had to break off advances, look for new paths and spend a lot of time. The misdeed failed after  a few seconds and ended in a hasty escape. In the opinion of the security expert, a less well-prepared burglar would be discovered much more quickly and, it  should be emphasised, by a makeshift security concept! It hardly needs imagination to realise what a complete, networked and to the point system of mobile  security solutions is capable of: connected, supported and controlled by innovative platform software.


Thursday, 2 o'clock. 18 hours had passed, from loading the transporters to parking them on our test site. Despite clear signs of fatigue, we parted in good spirits and also a little proud, because Security Robotics had demonstrated what is possible. Simply ingenious, isn't it? what's possible. Simply ingenious, isn't it?


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Michael Engel | m.engel@security-robotics.de

Landsberger Allee 366, 12681 Berlin
Telefon: 030 – 209 67 44 - 78
Telefax: 030 – 209 67 44 - 79

Contact person

Security Robotics Development & Solutions GmbH
Ingo Henke
E-Mail: i.henke@security-robotics.de

Landsberger Allee 366, 12681 Berlin
Phone: +49 30 – 209 67 44 - 78
Fax: +49 30 – 209 67 44 - 79
E-Mail: info@security-robotics.de