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.