Chicago (IL) – iRobot, the makers of the PackBot robots used by police and police units, has now added electric dart firing Tasers to a test robot. The new weapon would give authorities a way to safely incapacitate bad guys.
The PackBot Explorer is a remotely-controlled robot that is usually tasked with checking out houses and examining bombs. So far 1000 of these robots have been delivered to agencies around the world. The robot is popular for its color front and rear cameras along with a 300X zoom low-light camera.
iRobot has toyed around with putting shotguns on the robots which could be used to blow open doors, detonate suspicious packages and of course shoot bad guys. The addition of the Taser X26 gun which fires two electrically charged darts up to 35 feet away could help law enforcement take down the bad guys quicker. After the two darts (basically glorified fish hooks) hit the target, electricity is pulsed and disrupt muscle and nerve signals. The result, hopefully, is a writhing human on the ground.
Retired U.S. Navy Vice Admiral Joe Dyer and president of iRobot Government & Industrial Robots says, "The addition of TASER technologies onto iRobot platforms will provide a critical tool for SWAT, law enforcement and military to handle a variety of dangerous scenarios."
iRobot officials will show off the proof of concept PackBot Explorer with Taser X26 attachment at a law enforcement conference at the Westin O’Hare in Chicago on July 9th and 10th.
We are just waiting for Honda and Sony to outfit Tasers or guns onto their bipedal robots. Just remember to run up some stairs when our future robot overlords come after us.