Robots enlisted for public safety missions
Public safety organizations are introducing robots to help with situational awareness, disaster response and remote patrol.
Just this week, the Los Angeles Police Department used a bomb disposal robot to move a package with suspicious writing found outside of a Los Angeles Fire Department station. The robot was tasked with moving the package away from the station and onto the street. After the package was determined to be safe, an officer was seen moving it onto a median.
Last month, the New York Fire Department became the first fire agency to purchase Boston Dynamics’ Spot robot for its search and rescue missions.
During emergencies, the Spot robot can provide vital information to its human operator and other first responders, a NYFD robotics unit official told the New York Times. The robots can collect data and images in environments too dangerous for public safety personnel. They can venture into debris after a steam or leak to measure the level of toxic, flammable gasses like carbon monoxide or into a collapsed building to determine structural integrity.