Six Flags amusement park hires robot security guard

A robot described as the “offspring of Wall-E and Baymax” will serve as a mobile security camera, officials said


By Brady MacDonald
The Orange County Register

VALENCIA, Calif. — An artificial intelligence-driven security guard robot with a Shakespearean name will soon be patrolling Six Flags Magic Mountain and the surrounding parking lots in search of scofflaws and rule breakers — but nobody will confuse Roameo with RoboCop.

The new Roameo security robot will start patrolling Magic Mountain in the next week, according to Six Flags officials.

Robotic Assistance Devices staff members pose with ROAMEO, a security and concierge robot, at the 2021 IAAPA Expo in Orlando, Florida.
Robotic Assistance Devices staff members pose with ROAMEO, a security and concierge robot, at the 2021 IAAPA Expo in Orlando, Florida. (Robotic Assistance Devices/TNS)

Roameo will operate in the Magic Mountain parking lot during park operation and in the amusement park after operating hours, according to Six Flags officials.

The 12 mph autonomous robot will serve as a mobile version of Magic Mountain’s current stationary closed-circuit television security cameras. Just like the pole- and building-mounted security cameras, Roameo will be able to identify trespassers in restricted areas of the Valencia amusement park.

Roameo won’t directly respond to infractions, but the bot can notify its human counterparts of trespassers in secure areas.

Among Roameo’s capabilities: Recognizing amusement park visitors who are not wearing face masks. Roameo will not be used for COVID-19 health and safety mask compliance at Magic Mountain, according to Six Flags officials.

The bot’s 21-inch touch screen can provide maps, wait times and other information. Magic Mountain can’t confirm if Roameo will offer ride wait times and amusement park maps as the new robot still remains in the testing phase.

The AI robot can hop curbs, climb hills in the rain and identify vehicles, license plate numbers and people. With additional software, it can verify photo IDs, check body temperatures and even unlock doors.

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The new Six Flags robot security guards will be supplied by Michigan-based Robotic Assistance Devices (RAD). Another Roameo will start working at Six Flags Over Texas about a week after the first bot rolls out at Magic Mountain, according to RAD officials.

RAD is in talks with Florida theme park companies about adding the Roameo bots, according to the Orlando Sentinel. Walt Disney World was not among the potential buyers, the Sentinel reported.

A Roameo robot security guard patrolled the World Series in Atlanta in October. RAD has confirmed sales of the Roameo bots to an unnamed California casino and a major Hollywood movie studio.

The imposing robot cop — which is 6 foot, 6 inches tall and weighs 750 pounds — comes equipped with cameras, speakers, microphones and a touch screen.

Roameo doesn’t look much like the half man-half robot that patrolled the crime-ridden streets of Detroit in the 1987 “RoboCop” film and subsequent sequels.

Fortune describes Roameo as the “illegitimate offspring of Wall-E and Baymax” while Screamscape calls the autonomous officer a “cross between a popcorn cart and a Google maps camera car.”

Robotic Assistance Devices displayed a Six Flags version of Roameo during the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions Expo in November. The Roameo at IAAPA Expo 2021 in Orlando, Florida, sported a baby blue finish, coiling roller coaster track accents, neon blue trim and a Six Flags Public Safety Department shield.

The Six Flags parks won’t call the robot Roameo. At the IAAPA Expo, the bot’s oversize Six Flags name tag read “Parker.” Both Six Flags bots at Magic Mountain and Over Texas will use the Parker name, according to RAD officials.

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