Monday, October 18, 2021

Alabama researchers working on robots to be used by police

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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) – University of Alabama researchers work on affordable robots police could use to communicate with each other or with crime suspects or the public.

WBRC-TV reports that a grant from the National Science Foundation is funding work to build robots with audio and video equipment. The robots could go to places where it could be too dangerous to police and relay information back to them.

“We hope that our interactive human robots will create a safe environment by keeping civilians and officers away from dangerous situations,” said Professor Nader Jalili, director of mechanical engineering at the university’s College of Engineering.

Darrin Griffin, professor of communications studies, said the goal was to build robots that are cheaper than most models that currently cost between $ 200,000 and $ 300,000.

Researchers work with services like the police from Tuscaloosa for ideas on what to include with these bots to make them more useful.

“Someone’s perception can be limited depending on the threat in front of them and having a robot could show them that someone has a gun in their hand or that they are hiding something,” Griffin said.

This is the first year of a three-year study. Group leaders working on the projects say it’s still years to come to have robots that can do whatever they want for that small price.

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