Armed robots -- similar to the ones now on patrol in Iraq -- are being marketed to domestic police forces, according to the machines' manufacturer and law enforcement officers. None of the gun-toting 'bots appear to have been deployed domestically, yet. Both cops and company officials say it's only a matter of time, however.Heh - "R&D with the shotgun mount," sounds like someone's been having some fun.
"Other than some R&D with the shotgun mount, we haven't used it operationally," Massachusetts State Police Trooper Mike Rogowski tells DANGER ROOM. "But they're on the way. They're coming."
Foster-Miller, maker of the armed SWORDS robot for military use, is also actively promoting a similar model to domestic, civilian police forces. The Talon SWAT/MP is a "robot specifically equipped for scenarios frequently encountered by police SWAT [special weapon and tactics] units and MPs [military police]," a company fact sheet announces. It "can be configured with the following equipment:I'm familiar with the term "non-lethal" rounds, but what exactly does "less-lethal" mean? If I get shot with one of these will I only be sort-of dead?
• Multi-shot TASER electronic control device with laser-dot aiming.
• Loudspeaker and audio receiver for negotiations. ("You have 15 seconds to comply.")
• Night vision and thermal cameras.
• Choice of weapons for lethal or less-than-lethal responses
- 40 mm grenade launcher - 2 rounds
- 12-gage shotgun - 5 rounds
- FN303 less-lethal launcher - 15 rounds.