Here in Los Angeles, local news channels have been locked on a chase and subsequent standoff between police and a mentally ill man accused of making threats on the White House. The LAPD have him cornered at the Federal Building. I was just in the area (for other reasons) -- traffic's a mess, streets are blocked off, law enforcement all over the place.
The LAPD bomb squad is using a remote-controlled robot to coax the suspect out of his Volkswagen beetle. This device is operated by a human, and is not autonomous -- sort of a humanoid drone, a machine proxy for a human negotiator. You can see it in the photo above, from the Daily Breeze. I wonder if anyone knows more about the particular robot/ROV/whatever they're using?
At least four police cruisers blocked the red Volkswagen Beetle in the driveway of a parking lot on Veteran Avenue just south of Wilshire Boulevard. Officers stood nearby with their guns pointed at the vehicle, and a police robot wheeled its way next to the driver's side door as the standoff continued. A military-style armored vehicle was also brought to the scene and was parked near the vehicle.
Update: Anonymous says,
That particular piece of equipment is a Remotec (a subsidiary of Northrop-Grumman) model F-6A by the looks of it. It has 3 cameras, a microphone and a speaker. It can be operated remotely by a fiber optic tether or by radio waves. It is used by Law enforcement and the Military typically in bomb disposal operations. The use in hostage situations is not unprecedented however.Above, a photo of the Northrop-Grumman/Remotec ANDROS F6A with Window Breaker and Dual PAN Disrupter mount. On the product page, the manufacturer refers to it as a "robot," so all of you arguing in the comments that this is an improper term can simmer down now, please. More photos of an ANDROS equipped with a gun and window-basher, and live video stream of today's human/robot standoff, after the jump.
Boing Boing editor/partner and tech culture journalist Xeni Jardin hosts and produces Boing Boing's in-flight TV channel on Virgin America airlines (#10 on the dial), and writes about living with breast cancer. Diagnosed in 2011. @xeni on Twitter. email: firstname.lastname@example.org.