Real 'RoboCop': Undergrads In Florida Develop A Remote Control Police Officer [VIDEO]
In the new movie remake RoboCop, an injured police officer in futuristic Detroit is given a second chance at his career when robotics developers create a superhuman prosthesis. At Florida International University in Miami, or FIU, that technology is already being developed.
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Last week, the school put out a video of their beta product, TeleBot. On the group's website, they quote The Six Million Dollar Man and describe their goal to "return law enforcement jobs to disabled veterans." The robot is controlled remotely using sensors affixed to different body parts of the controller; whatever that person does, so does TeleBot, a six-feet tall, 75-pound humanoid. Back in the command center, the controller sees (through a virtual headset) what cameras in TeleBot's face see.
"With telebots, a disabled police officer will be capable of performing many, if not most, of the functions of a normal patrol office — interacting with the community, patrolling, responding to 911 calls, issuing citations," says Jeremy Robins, a U.S. Navy reservist who put up the first $20,000 to fund the project. Undergraduate students and professors at FIU's Discovery Lab have been working on TeleBot since 2012. "Telerobotics has already begun to make its way into the worlds of medicine, business and private security. Extending it into law enforcement is simply the natural progression of things."
Robins has also said TeleBot must look intimidating enough that citizens obey the commands of a lifeless robot half their weight. (We're hoping he doesn't have the robot police from another movie, Elysium, in mind.) According to a paper [download] the student developers published last summer, TeleBot sits upon two wheels, which they say is "an accustomed sight for citizens" because of officers mounted on Segways.
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