Border to get robot cameras, AI monitoring

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Border to get robot cameras, AI monitoring

The Army will be equipped with robots that can conduct patrols and a surveillance system based on artificial intelligence along the demilitarized zone (DMZ), the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) announced Tuesday.
 
The two items, which will assist soldiers on the ground to monitor the border and detect intruders, will be introduced this year under an acquisition project worth 2.8 billion won ($2.5 million) directed by the state arms procurement agency.
 
The robots, which look like roving surveillance cameras, are designed to move swiftly along a rail system at a speed of 5 meters per second, detect moving objects with an advanced sensor and track them using a high-resolution pan-tilt camera, according to DAPA.
 
Designed and manufactured by security company KI, the robots will be deployed after a six-month test trial beginning in December.
 
As the guard robots boost existing surveillance hardware along the border, an AI-based surveillance system will enhance human monitoring of closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras.
 
The system, created by surveillance company IVS, will analyze sounds and movement patterns of objects captured in CCTV footage and send an alarm to a control room when it recognizes infiltrators, as opposed to animals.
 
Because the system harnesses deep learning technology to distinguish between familiar and common movements and unusual ones, its detection capabilities will improve over time, according to DAPA.
 
The agency added that the AI-based system will be installed along land and maritime border regions by October.
 
“These systems are expected to enable tighter, constant surveillance missions to minimize possible loopholes, and help manage our troops more effectively,” the agency said in a press release on Tuesday.
 
The military has been working to beef up surveillance systems and improve border security in the wake of a series of embarrassing security breaches in recent months, mostly by North Korean defectors.
 
In February, a North Korean civilian managed to swim across the eastern maritime border and enter a restricted area south of the DMZ before he was finally captured by CCTV cameras close to a checkpoint.
 
In another embarrassing incident, a North Korean was able to cross into the South in November by throwing a blanket atop the barbed wire before vaulting the fence. The so-called “fence defection” was blamed on malfunctioning sensors on the fences.
 
 
BY MICHAEL LEE   [lee.junhyuk@joongang.co.kr]
 
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