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Being the ID badge professionals that we are, you might (errantly) assume that we have every possible ID card use case on lockdown. You might (again, errantly) think it only natural that we have considered every contingency… That there is no place with a better ID badge policy than InstantCard headquarters…

Alas, even we never considered the possible need of an employee ID badge for our… Roomba?

Recently, we installed a brand-new, state-of-the-art motion detection camera system in our offices (your ID badges can never be too safe, after all). We didn’t, however, expect said system to be tested within its first few weeks of being installed. So, you can imagine our surprise when we received an after-hour alert a couple of weeks ago.

ID Badges for roombasAs it turns out, our little vacuuming robot found himself playing Sisyphus opposite a cardboard box. And while, normally, Roombas keep their head down so as to not alert, say, a new motion detection system; dancing cardboard boxes prove conspicuous.

OK, so perhaps an ID badge for our Roomba wouldn’t have helped the situation. Honestly, I wouldn’t recommend it—lanyards aren’t fun to remove from their works (ask me how I know). But, when I heard about this on a recent call with my colleagues, someone (namely me) joked that we needed Roomba ID badges.

I guess this story felt particularly funny to me, and somewhat ironically poignant, because of our recent security compliance audit. Around the same time that we installed the aforementioned detection system, we updated our cloud security policies to ensure full compliance into the future. We thought we had covered every contingency—both physical and virtual. But, in the end, we were still thwarted by an autonomous sucker and a box.

Obviously, this didn’t turn out to be a big deal. But, it serves as an example of how we can do our best, think we have everything covered, and still get caught off guard. Roombas may be small, but they can move big boxes and have a big impact. And, if I’m allowed to reach for a parallel, I’d say that ID badges may be small, but they have a big impact.

Without a doubt, we have quite a few companies who come to us for ID cards because of the professionalism they add to an organization. But, let us not forget how much security a little flash pass can add. There should be no doubt who is part of your organization, and to where they have access—Roombas and humans alike. Check out our 12-Point Checklist for an Effective ID Card Policy to see how an ID badge can best be used for your organization.

We hope that we can help (or have helped) you ensure that any calls from security are due to misguided (yet well-meaning) Roombas and never an actual nefarious interloper.