PatrolBots Might Soon Combat Crime In The Streets
Researchers of the Florida International University (FIU) together with Jeremy Robbins, a lieutenant commander in the U.S. Navy Reserves, are now developing a telepresence robot that would get disabled law enforcement officers back on patrol to combat crime. Thousands of police officers are forced into retirement each year due to disability while serving in Afghanistan. Telebots will enable military and police veterans serve in law enforcement, performing most functions of a normal patrol officer – interacting with the community, patrolling, responding to 911 calls, issuing citations etc.
Jeremy Robbins secured the loan of two custom-built robots, originally built for a $2 million DARPA initiative known as the Urban Warrior Robot (UWR) program from the Institute for Human and Machine Cognition (IHMC). UWR project leader Jerry Pratt and the IHMC team are now working with FIU’s Discovery Lab to adapt the two military-grade robots for use in crime-fighting duties. The initial prototype, named “PatrolBot”, will incorporate video, audio and sensory capabilities; its main functions will be patrolling in high-density public spaces and performing surveillance in sensitive areas such as ports and nuclear facilities. Robbins claims, that the revolutionary thing about the project is that it is using robots to bring a person back into the workforce, rather than taking a human out of it.