Robots Aid Boston Police in Manhunt

Last week was a horrific week. It is incredible that two people can shut down an entire city.  At the same time, it was encouraging to see millions of people listen to authorities and work together to stop the terrorists on the loose.

Al little known fact regarding last week events was that robots aided the FBI in their search and protection.  We are all familiar with bomb seeking and destroying machines but how about a robotic shield.  A Maine based company deployed a new “ballistic police shield that sits atop a miniature, remote-controlled tank-like vehicle made to protect first responders.”  This creation is the the brian child of twin brothers Mike and Geoff Howe that said Thursday the ‘‘SWAT robot’’ keeps SWAT teams and other first responders safe while approaching buildings during potentially dangerous standoffs or confrontations with armed suspects. It also can shield police and the public from explosive devices, like the ones set off Monday during the Boston Marathon, killing three people and injuring more than 170.

The company, Howe and Howe Technologies Inc., developed the machine with the Massachusetts State Police. It was going to be unveiled in ­Boston this week, but after the bombings, it will be utilized by other police departments nationwide.  Police Chief Thomas ­Connolly, who heads a regional tactical police squad that has trained with the device, said ‘‘It can provide police with a huge tactical advantage.’’

Swat Robot comes at a hefty price tag of $98,00 as bomb squads currently use remote-controlled robots to locate and defuse explosive devices. Camera-­equipped robots are used for surveillance to keep ­officers out of harm’s way. In addition, plastic shield to ward off explosive devices, however combination proved last week to be a worthwhile investment.


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