Police emergency response to the San Bernardino mass shooting brought technology centerstage as the officers deployed a robot to face a hostile threat facing its officers. The Remotec Andros Robot took to the front line with its original mission intact. The “Remote Neutralization System” (RONS) Unmanned Remote Disposal Robot went to task helping the Swat team identify and contain up to seven explosive devices left by the suspected shooters and safely detonate one made with three pipe bombs tied together and found inside a building after failing to detonate when the shooters assault of terror began.
In all, the Andros robot deployed out front with police and FBI also tracking down deadly explosives left inside the suspects rented Redlands home and a remote control detonator similar to a RC toy car controller located inside the black SUV adding to the first discovery of the triple pipe bomb device inside the nearby conference center.
Can robots really save the day? Technology is coming to the front line in police departments all over the USA. The mechanical bomb robots may have been around for more than a decade, and the San Bernardino mass shooting is putting a spotlight on the robotic hero alongside the brave men and women who met with one of the country’s worst shootings in history. Robotic crime fighting inventors think we could be ready for what’s next in crisis response robots and real crime fighting RoboCops. From Hollywood fiction to homeland terror confrontation reality, the next police robots are focused on preventing crime by surveilling streets and sidewalks through our neighborhoods.
Already deployed in a Silicon Valley test, the Knightscope K5 police robot stands just 5 feet tall but could outwit Hollywood’s made-up RoboCop strengths in real life. The K5 Police Robot may not be weaponized yet but it is powerful enough as it autonomously roams around your neighborhood, patrolling and storing everything it detects on its facial recognition sensors, reading license plates, and activating its continuous thermal image scanner hoping to predict where criminal activity will take place.
You won’t have to wait to see this new robotic weapon overhead. A police robot drone called the Skunk Riot Control Copter can sweep in and neutralize an unruly crowd by releasing 80 pepper balls per second through its onboard high-capacity barrels. The operator remains on the ground at a safe distance in command watching through its thermal HD camera and can even deploy a squadron of drones to a large scale confrontation.
Robots aren’t just policing. Triaging multiple victims in a crisis could speed-up with the help of robotic paramedics. The Lucas CPR compression robot administers life-saving chest compressions to victims at exactly the right rhythm and amount of pressure every time freeing up human paramedics to do more life-saving tasks and is already in use with several EMS units around the country.
Just hours ago a pair of newly developed disaster relief robots stole the show at an International Robot conference in Japan. The HRP-2 Kai and Jaxon humanoid robots can operate rescue missions in harsh conditions unsuitable for humans and clear debris after an explosion or earthquake. They can bulldoze a path through hazardous material a human can’t get near enough to control and extinguish fires without protective gear that can only reduce the risk of harm to real life first responders. Rescue robots can be replaced after all. You and I cannot so easily.