SWAT team members have one of the most dangerous jobs there is, and while they take every available precaution to be safe, sometimes it's just not enough. Riot gear and bullet-proof faceplates are helpful, but in some situations, more is called for.
That's where their new secret weapon comes in: the Recon Scout. Small, lightweight, and durable, the Scout looks a bit like a dumbbell with wheels. It features a robotic camera in the middle, and can be thrown through a window or into a room to give SWAT members a better view of the situation before they go in.
But the Scout isn't just useful for the SWAT team; firefighters and police officers can also benefit from it, and some select stations have been trying it out recently after the robot got rave reviews from soldiers who tested it out in Iraq and Afghanistan. According to the Commonlaw Blog, which posted about the device, "Typical applications are likely to include checking a building prior to forced entry, locating hostages and hostiles before a rescue attempt, searching for survivors in a burning building, and inspecting the site of a chemical or nuclear release. A police task force told the FCC, after testing the Recon Scout, “We don't feel comfortable without this thing now.”
Despite the obvious pros to using the Scout, many people have an issue with it because it needs a particular radio frequency to operate on, and amateur radio enthusiasts didn't want it interfering. But the FCC has now regulated it for use, so hopefully we'll see it helping out our cities' finest over the next few years.