High School Builds Police Robot

Posted by Sam Churchill on

The newest member of the Rockledge, Fla., Police Department is two feet tall and weighs 100 pounds, but it’s not police dog — it’s a robot named PDbot.

Rockledge High School built the robot for the police.

PDbot stands a little more than 2 feet tall, but is strong enough to drag a person. Among its attachments are a speaker and microphone allowing for two-way audio and a camera that can take pictures in the dark. On its back, the robot has a police throw phone for use during crisis negotiations. It can operate in low-light environments, has a powerful floodlight and can withstand inclement weather.

Two pneumatic canister launchers can fire grenades, including tear gas and flash bangs, which are loud devices police deploy that cause disorientation.

PDbot can be operated remotely up to 500 feet. Police can use the robot not just in crisis situations but for search warrants, traffic stops, large-scale fights and suspicious packages.

Wouldn’t it be cool if Rockledge High School could build a UAV for the National Reconnaissance Office. That might save tens of billions in spy satellite overhead and result in faster, better, cheaper imagery for end users everywhere.

Most of the $300/hr contractors from SAIC, CSC, or BAH might be laid off. Everyone wins.

The NRO might fund the student project for the cost of one $421,000 fax machine. Student’s might be paid million dollar bonuses if delivered on time, on budget.

Perhaps the students could pioneer a project like CubeSat, for UAVs. It could be based on Google Honeycomb, WiMAX, and a standardized small UAV platform, not unlike the Puma air vehicle from Aerovironment. The battery powered UAV can be hand-launched with a flight endurance of two hours, or 4 hrs with fuel cells. Payloads would have similar volume and weight restrictions as CubeSat.

The University of Surrey built an Android-controlled CubeSat. The CubeSatShop.com has virtually everything you’ll need.

Posted by Sam Churchill on Friday, April 8th, 2011 at 1:05 pm .

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