The Recon Scout robot is being dubbed a secret weapon for SWAT Teams and Emergency Service Units across the country.
The dumbbell-shaped robot is to be used during intense hostage situations as a way to provide an extra set of eyes and ears for authorities before emergency service units enter the premises, reported Huffington Post.
The Recon Scout can literally be tossed in a high-risk situation. Approximately the size of a beer can with a wheel at each end, the Recon Scout is equipped with a camera that allows authorities to discreetly watch what is occurring near a potential deadly area. It is operated by use of a wireless hand-held controller that uses a joystick to drive the Recon Scout. On the controller is also a monitor that allows the operators to watch what is happening in real time. According to the statement on the company's website, the Recon Scout can be used in complete darkness and moves without a making a sound.
The U.S. military has been using the Recon Scout in Iraq and Afghanistan for several years now, reported Comm Law Blog. Locale police officials, who have recently adopted the Recon Scout, explained how effective it can be.
These robot systems will help protect the lives of tactical operators and enable us to resolve dangerous situations much more quickly, said Lt. Chris Cochrane a commander of the Fairfax County Special Operations Team, in a statement on Recon Scout's website. Through the cooperative service agreements that we have in place, we can now ensure that these robots will be available to assist all of the tactical teams in the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments region.
It took time before the local police officials were able to utilize the Recon Scout. The company that produces the device needed to receive two types of FCC licenses. The first license was to establish that the Recon Scout complies with technical rules and the second was to make sure that it adheres to the standards of airwaves, since the video transmits wirelessly to the controller.
The video feed from the device uses part of the 420-450 MHz band - frequencies that are allocated for radar and certain other applications, but not for video, said Comm Law Blog. Amateur radio operators took an interest because they have a secondary allocation in that band, and worried that the Recon Scout would interfere in their operations.
However, FCC responded favorably to the requests of ReconRobotics to sell Recon Scout to several police departments in the United States including the Virginia State Police, Montgomery County Police Department, Alexandria Police Department, Frederick County Sheriff's Office, as well as several others.
We are honored to play a role in protecting the lives of tactical operators and counter-terrorism personnel in our nation's capitol and the surrounding area, said Aimee Barmore, Director of Law Enforcement Programs for ReconRobotics. With more than 400 tactical customers, worldwide, and nearly 2,000 robots deployed with our troops in Afghanistan, we know this battle-proven micro-robot system will be a game changer for the MWCOG SWAT and special operations teams.