Could Robot Be Cops’ Best Friend?
A new remote-operated device known as Guardian 5 could allow police to perform the job an officer normally would who pulls over a car for a violation.
The robot raises to the height of a car window, asks the driver for his license, uses a mechanical arm to accept the license, and transmits a video image of it to the officer in the patrol vehicle.
Guardian 5, which was created by Redlands, Calif., auto technician Fernando Ramirez, is meant to protect police in high-danger situations.
Ramirez thought up Guardian 5 in 2006 following a pair of incidents involving state Highway Patrol officers on area freeways. One officer was shot and hurt in November 2005 after he pulled over a speeding vehicle on the 15 Freeway in Ontario, while the other officer was killed in February 2006 when a drunk motorist hit his motorcycle and a truck he had pulled over on the 15 in Hesperia.
Guardian 5, which is made of aluminum, sits in a black carrier in the front of a police car, and can expand itself to as high as 52 inches. Once it is deployed, Ramirez stated that the device can be returned to its carrier in under 30 seconds.
Innovative Response Technology robotics program manager Carey Butler believes Guardian 5 would cost between $30,000 and $50,000 apiece, although “the marketplace will want to see it much less expensive, probably in the $15,000 to $25,000 range.”
Abstracted by the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center (NLECTC) from US States News (06/15/07).