Robocop K-9 which can climb, open doors and talk becomes Brit police new weapon

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    A Robocop K-9 which can climb stairs, open doors and talk is set to become Brit police's latest weapon in the fight against crime.

    Forces plan to deploy robotic dog Spot to do all the cop jobs deemed too risky for human officers – including hostage negotiation, de-fusing explosives and tackling armed suspects, chemical weapons and terrorists. It can even knock on a door and serve arrest warrants to the most violent criminals.

    The AI pooch, which has snatched a rifle from a shooter and rescued a three-year-old boy from an armed abductor in the US, has been bought by the Ministry of Defence to help troops on the frontline. Now Brit police forces are queuing up to recruit the robots which US firm Boston Dynamics spent 30 years perfecting.

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    One – called "Bad Ass" – wowed police chiefs when it as unveiled at the Emergency Tech Show in Birmingham yesterday. The 43in long and 44in tall bot is a real life version of the crime-busting canine in hit 1989 comedy movie K-9 – backed up by artificial intelligence so its capabilities stretch far beyond those of man's best friend.

    It can travel at 1.6 metres-per-second, operate in temperatures ranging from -20C to 45C and assess crime scenes with cameras capable of seeing 360 degrees. The hound can pick up explosives, resist radioactive dirty bombs and even talk via a handler operating it by a remote control tablet anywhere from 6ft to 600 miles away.

    Even if it is shot, stabbed or blown to bits it can be repaired with replaceable parts. More than 1,000 are already tackling villains across America. After trialling the pooches last year (2022) Colonel Dan Anders-Brown (corr), the MoD's customer lead for defence equipment and support, said the robots were "more reliable" than humans in many roles.

    "These are highly capable systems and could significantly reduce risk to life of our soldiers by removing the requirement to carry out dangerous activity in the modern battlespace,'' he added. The robots have been hailed heroes by US police after saving lives in operations in St Petersburg, Florida, and Los Angeles.

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    The New York Police Department has just placed an order. Now Brit police are following suit. A spokesman for the manufacturer said the robots' "unmatched mobility and intuitive interface" was changing incident response in hostile environments.

    "Operators can stay safe with Spot on-hand to remotely investigate, assess, and de-escalate tense or hazardous situations,'' he said. Customisable payloads, such as an integrated arm or additional sensors, can provide more situational awareness and the ability to detect chemical, biological, or radiological hazards.

    Spot provides important situational awareness to responding law enforcement responders. Its mobility allows it to be quickly deployed and on-board cameras provide valuable information back to officers. Common use cases include armed barricaded suspects, suspicious package investigations and other hazards.

    In addition to increased standoff distance in potentially dangerous scenarios Spot can be equipped with sensors to detect chemical, biological, or radiological threats. Spot helps reduce risk in potentially dangerous scenarios enabling first responders to safely assess and de-escalate tense or hazardous situations Spot’s athletic intelligence makes it easier to operate than tracked and wheeled robots.

    Within moments, operators can quickly drive Spot up and down stairs, over unstructured terrain, and more.With Spot Arm operators can pick up objects and open doors with ease. Investigate suspicious packages and suspected explosives with Spot while maintaining a safe perimeter.

    Integrate sensors to measure oxygen levels of potentially explosive environments or detect explosive materials. Equipped with cameras, x-ray devices, and the Spot Arm, Spot enables Explosive Ordnance Disposal technicians to safely inspect and render safe suspicious packages.

    "In active shooter or hostage situations Spot can help first responders establish visual and two-way communications so they can gather the information needed to de-escalate the situation and keep officers and bystanders out of harm’s way.''

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    • Police
    • Robots
    • Dogs

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