It's a tool used by the College Station Police SWAT team and it isn't afraid to drive into trouble and send reconnaissance information back to fellow officers. It's been deployed more than three dozen times throughout the seven county Brazos Valley regions – and was most recently used in the Calvert standoff earlier this week.
They're used for a variety of reasons; from inspection to surveillance to bomb detection. College Station Police Sergeant Blaine Krauter says when in doubt -- send in the SWAT Bot. Sergeant Krauter is on the CSPD SWAT team and says in any potentially dangerous situation the tactical robot is deployed keeping people out of harm's way. It was deployed most recently in the Calvert stand-off and man-hunt.
"We were able to check the out buildings with the robot and check those areas first and then you can set the robot anywhere so it's your eyes and ears for the location so you don't have to use somebody there,” says College Station Police Sergeant Blaine Krauter.
The robot is armed with a 12-gauge shot-gun; a PAN Disrupter which shoots out water at such a high velocity -- it can dismantle a bomb.
"Whether it be a pipe bomb or some other kind of package; our general disruption is going to be water and there are different velocities that we choose, it just depends on what package it is,” Krauter said.
It's equipped with numerous wide-angle cameras which send real-time video back to the handler.
The robot is roughly the size of an industrial lawn mower and is able to even climb curbs or stairs.
Krauter says its capabilities are almost endless.
"You can open up packages by grabbing on with the front clamps; opening zippers, bags, and we also have tools that you can attach that will actually rip open packages,” said Krauter.
The device is helping to keep safety at the forefront for those standing on the front-line.
The SWAT BOT is utilized throughout the seven county regions and cost nearly $200,000. Police say it was purchased through government grants.
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