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Law Enforcement Robots

Law enforcement is a dangerous activity. This makes it a good opportunity for robots. It is, however, highly-unstructured and that makes it very difficult for robots. Robots have found application in training, surveillance and bomb disposal; but the days of an actual "RoboCop" are a long ways off.

The United Service Associates makes the robot at the left. They call it the "Mad Robot" and it does look mad. I would be mad too if I had this robot's job. It is essentially a mannequin target on remote controlled wheels. By utilizing this robot to make sudden and unpredictable movements in training scenarios, the trainers attempt to teach the officers to replace their "startle" reaction with a timely and appropriate response.

Of course the appropriate response is often to blast the robot. That's probably why it is so mad. Not to worry, after it gets blasted enough they can replace the mannequin. They come in foam, vinyl and plastic.

Talk about dangerous, bomb disposal has got to be one of the most dangerous activities for a law enforcement officer  there is. That alone makes it a good opportunity for a robot, but coupled with the simplicity of the task, it makes a great opportunity for a robot. The robot at right is called a Mini Andros and is made by the Remotec corporation. This robot has all the features required of a good bomb disposal robot. It has a camera coupled with a strong light. The knobby tires and the tracks should provide very good stability and rough terrain capability. Finally, there is a sturdy manipulator on the front. The robot uses this manipulator to pick up the bomb and then uses the mobility platform to move the bomb to a remote location where it can be safely destroyed by secondary explosives. All of these activities are telecontrolled by a remote operator.

The robot at left is outfitted for surveillance. It is small and has a video camera and a light. The tracks should provide excellent maneuverability on all types of terrain. A robot like this is a good choice for finding suspects hiding in vents or drainage pipes. It could also be sent into difficult situations with barricaded suspects.  As with the bomb disposal robot, this surveillance robot is telecontrolled by a remote operator.

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