RoboCops Closer to Becoming a Reality

swatbotA report recently published by Yahoo! News describes a high tech company based in the state of Maine that often designs and builds equipment for Hollywood and the military. The latest innovation that the company has developed features a bullet proof shield positioned atop a tracked vehicle that resembles a miniature tank. The manufacturer constructed the remote controlled device as a useful crime fighting tool that provides first responders with enhanced protective ability.

Bot builders Geoff and Mike Howe explained that the SWAT styled robot, nicknamed the “SWAT Bot,” provides law enforcement officers and other members of the first response team with protection when approaching a building, encountering an armed individual or when faced with potentially hazardous confrontations.

Police officers assisted in the design constructed by the Waterboro company known as Howe and Howe Technologies Inc. Law enforcement officers and the Howe brothers had originally planned on introducing their revolutionary device in Boston. However, in lieu of the recent bombings, the “SWAT Bot” made its first appearance on Thursday at the nearby Sanford Police Department. The Chief of the Sanford Police Department commandeers a regional tactical police force and received training on the new device.

Police officers across the country often face various situations that pose a danger to officers and the public. In recent news, an Aurora, Colorado gunmen took three hostages when a SWAT team entered the residence and shot the suspect. Inside, officers found all the hostages dead. Many local police officers agreed that the robot would benefit officers when faced with confronting a suspect. As the robot costs $98,000, officers remain unsure of the affordability of the endeavor.

Robots as Tactical Defense

Working with robotic devices is not something new to tactical officers. Law enforcement members assigned to bomb squad units regularly operate remote-controlled devices that have the capability of locating and defusing explosives. Officers also commonly use robots equipped with cameras when evaluating a potentially dangerous location.

Some robots have mechanical arms that police use for positioning shields in front of building openings, which protects law enforcement officers from gunfire. Police also currently have armored vehicles that serve as barriers when officers confront armed suspects or when individuals remain within the confines of a barricade.

The “SWAT Bot” combines a number of devices used by tactical officers into one mobile unit. Though technological devices remain expensive in terms of repair or replacement, officers much prefer sacrificing machinery in attempts at sparing human lives. The Howe brothers continue receiving input from officers to improve the tactical robot.