Rise of the [Friendly] Robots

Scheduled for: May 16th, 2023, 10:00 am PT / Category: Interviews

How are security robots changing the landscape of public safety?

Summary of the video

Bill Santana Lee discusses the rise of friendly robots and explains that Night Scope aims to address the problem of crime and its negative economic impact by providing robotic solutions for public safety and security. Lee emphasizes the lack of federal jurisdiction and innovation in law enforcement agencies and private security firms. He highlights the limitations of human officers and guards in terms of their numbers and capabilities. Lee describes Night Scope’s autonomous robots, which can operate 24/7, observe their surroundings, read license plates, and collect evidence. He explains how the presence of these robots can deter criminal behavior and provide valuable data for prosecution. Lee expresses the need for advancements in technology, such as improved communication capabilities, to enhance the effectiveness of these robots. He asserts that traditional policing and security methods are costly and ineffective, and Night Scope’s robots offer a scalable and real solution to the problem. Lee mentions the positive response they have received from communities and the potential for further expansion.


William (“Bill”) Santana Li has served as Knightscope’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (“CEO”) since April 2013. Mr. Li is an American entrepreneur with over 30 years of experience from working in the global automotive sector and founding and leading a number of startups. From 1990 to 1999, Mr. Li held multiple business and technical positions at Ford Motor Company across four continents.

His positions at Ford ranged from component, systems, and vehicle engineering with the Visteon, Mazda, and Lincoln brands to business and product strategy on the United States youth market, India, and the emerging markets in Asia-Pacific and South America as well as the financial turnaround of Ford of Europe. In addition, he was on the “Amazon” team, which established an all-new modular plant in Brazil. Subsequently, he served as Director of Mergers & Acquisitions.

After internally securing $250 million in financing, Mr. Li founded and served as COO of GreenLeaf LLC, a Ford Motor Company subsidiary that became the world’s second largest automotive recycler. Under his leadership, GreenLeaf grew to more than 600 employees, 20 locations worldwide, and annual sales of approximately $150 million. At the age of 28, Bill was the youngest senior executive at Ford Motor Company worldwide.

After successfully establishing GreenLeaf, Mr. Li was recruited by SoftBank Venture Capital to establish and serve as the President and CEO of the Model E Corporation, a newly established automobile manufacturer that focused on the “Subscribe and Drive” model in California. Mr. Li also founded Carbon Motors Corporation in 2003, and as its Chairman and CEO until February 2013, focused it on developing the world’s first purpose-built law enforcement patrol vehicle.

Mr. Li earned a BSEE from Carnegie Mellon University and an MBA from the University of Detroit Mercy.