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Autonomous Robotics for Law Enforcement

NCJ Number
Law Enforcement Technology Volume: 34 Issue: 2 Dated: February 2007 Pages: 66,68,73
Joseph Weiss
Date Published
February 2007
7 pages
This article describes the use of autonomous robotics as an effective technological tool in law enforcement.
Using autonomous robots has the potential to improve the safety and productivity of law enforcement. Autonomous robots become an addition to the force, enhancing on-ground capabilities without requiring human operators. With autonomous robotics, the robots are commanded to do tasks but in general, are not controlled while performing the task. An officer might be able to override an autonomous robot’s actions, but in most cases, he/she would simply give the robot directions for it to execute autonomously. Over the last 20 years, the area of robotics has evolved through three generations of capabilities. The third-generation, or autonomous robots, recently became available. These systems are capable of making real-life decisions and acting upon them. This article discusses the “thinking” robot’s role, officer safety as an important area for a robot’s application, and intelligence and information gathering as an important application for the autonomous robot. The autonomous robot offers law enforcement officers an important and invaluable tool when dealing with today’s high-tech criminals.