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Study Says Police Use of Robots ‘To Proliferate’

The use of robots by law enforcement agencies is “likely to proliferate” worldwide

The use of robots by law enforcement agencies is “likely to proliferate” worldwide because robots increase situational awareness in dangerous locations, thereby decreasing the risks to first responders, says a market research study by WinterGreen Research Inc.

The study—First Responder, Border Patrol, Homeland Security, Law Enforcement, and Security Robots: Market Shares, Strategies, and Forecasts, Worldwide, 2012 to 2018—says police use of robot security systems is focused “on causality reduction during security patrols.” Therefore, because robots save lives, robotic research is continuing to be a priority for government spending, the report says.

In addition, terrorism has increased law enforcement and security agencies dependence on robots, the report says. “Police are looking for terrorists and trying to stop terrorist activities. The terrorists target civilians in order to create terror, but the homeland security and police needs to target terrorists and protect civilians in order to get their job done effectively. Robots help in this task by sending robots instead of homeland security and police into dangerous places,” the study says.

The study names the iRobot “210 Negotiator” as a product that is likely “to proliferate to every law enforcement agency worldwide.” The iRobot 210 Negotiator performs basic reconnaissance and increases situational awareness in dangerous scenarios, the study says. So, rather that sending officers “a dangerous situation” where there is a risk they might get shot, law enforcement believes “it is better to send in a robot,” the document says.