In recent years, the number of data centers in the world has grown significantly, and, according to experts, this trend will continue for the foreseeable future. In this regard, there is a growing need for the necessary number of qualified employees to manage them, in which there is already a shortage. One of the ways to solve this problem is process automation.
Robotics is becoming part of the toolbox as the industry strives to accelerate automation. The need for social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic also provides many incentives for increased use of robotics in data center management scenarios.
Switch, one of the largest data center operators, has created the Switch Sentry robot, which it plans to use in its future edge data centers, as well as sell it to corporate customers. The Switch Sentry robots are almost six feet (1.8 m) high and are designed to keep mission-critical assets safe.
According to Switch, the Sentry robots are completely autonomous, can move independently or be controlled by a person. Each robot can be equipped with motion detection sensors, night vision and lidars, and can also use 3D maps to navigate the environment. Built-in security features include face recognition, temperature detection for coronavirus and other diseases. Also reported is a bulletproof hull for shelling scenarios. Each unit is equipped with two-way voice and video communication and can speak in both male and female voices.
Switch first talked about the device in May. Last week, in a Switch report on financial results, company officials said the Switch Sentry is a standalone device that will be offered to businesses. The commercial launch is scheduled for next year.
“One challenge when deploying to the edge – physical security– said the president of Switch Thomas Morton (Thomas Morton). – Deployment of round-the-clock security in the 24 × 7 × 365 mode on the periphery is inexpedient from either an economic or a physical point of view. To solve this problem, Rob Roy (CEO of Switch) has developed a robotic AI solution to ensure the safety of a person in a loop.“.
He added that in addition to being used at the company’s own data center facilities, Switch Sentry Robot will be offered as a stand-alone security platform for the wider market. Initially, the robot was supposed to complement the Switch Edge safety systems, Morton said. However, companies began to ask Switch to supply these robots to their facilities, so it was decided to start supplying Sentry Robot and third-party enterprises.
Switch is not the only edge computing player to add robotic solutions to its portfolio. Peripheral colocation solutions provider DartPoints has entered into a partnership with TMGcore, a cooling specialist. It recently released a data center solution that uses robots to replace high-density servers immersed in coolant. This is one of the most ambitious attempts to create a self-contained data center with external control.