Tech News: Law Enforcement Gear

24 Apr 2015

Tech News: Cool Tactical Gear

Gear Up RoboCop! Check out these 10 gadgets that will take crime solving and life saving to new levels. Technology has made leaps and the justice field is benefiting. Some gear is still in the prototype-stage while other inventions are already being utilized around the country. Many of these next-gen gadgets could mean life or death for police officers and firefighters, as well as the public they serve. Spoiler alert – there’s no flying car. Yes, we were disappointed as well. But there is a super human robot and a drone disguised as an insect. Now, where is 007’s Q when you need him?


TechNews Shipboard Autonomous Firefighting Robot SAFFir
Say hello to your fellow fire fighter; his name is SAFFiR. The human-sized robot fights fires aboard naval vessels. The Office of Naval Research developed the Shipboard Autonomous Firefighting Robot (SAFFiR) to walk across uneven floors, use thermal imaging to identify overheated equipment, and use a hose to extinguish a small fire.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ The bipedal robot stands nearly 6-feet tall, weighs 143 pounds and has super-human range of motion. The robot can see through smoke and even help with damage control and inspections after a fire.


TechNews Amulance Drone
A matter of minutes can mean life or death in a medical emergency, especially for cardiac arrest patients. When the heart stops, brain damage starts occurring at just four minutes. The ambulance drone prototype aims to be first on scene in those crucial moments to get a patient’s heart pumping again. When an emergency call is received, the drone can fly 62 mph and cross a 4-mile distance in just one minute. It transports a defibrillator with instructions and other medical supplies. It also features a live camera feed to connect with emergency operators for additional help. Only caveat: The Federal Aviation Administration doesn’t allow flying drones, so we might have to wait a few years before seeing these on the scene.


TechNews VIEVU Police Body Camera
Clashes between police and civilians have increasingly become publicized due to cell phone video and the viral nature of the Internet. Some incidents have created big backlash towards police, even creating riots. Body cameras are the recent solution and aim to protect both police and the public by documenting exactly what happens without bias. A big player is the body camera race is Vievu. It can be clipped to a deputy’s shirt and is smaller than a deck of cards. It can record audio and video for up to 12 hours. The response has been positive so far, and creates accountability for all parties involved.


TechNews Airconditioned Bullet Proof Vest
Sprinting at full speed and engaging in a firefight is physically exhausting. And the last thing you need in a dangerous situation is heat or humidity to weigh you down. We’re looking at you Miami! To address the fatigue of heat, companies such as Empa are creating bulletproof vests equipped with miniature air conditioning systems. Inside the vest is a water-filled pouch with a permeable liner that allows water to evaporate and cool the surrounding air. Two miniature fans enhance and spread that cool air towards the officer’s body. The water pouch can even be filled up when the officer is in the field. The AC will keep you cool, and much faster than your opponent.


TechNews Chatbot
No more hiding in the dark corners of the Internet. A newly designed chatbot is catching the pedophiles that prey on gullible young girls in chatrooms. Police officers typically pose as girls on the Internet in order to catch and arrest pedophiles. But if an automated chatbot can do the job, then those officers can work on other cases. Researchers as the University of Deusto designed the Negobot with game theory, a strategic decision making technology, which uses different prompts to obtain a suspect’s phone number or address. It also makes the virtual character sound like a teenager rather than a robot by using slang and amateur grammar.


TechNews Bluetooth Camera
Action cameras are not just for filming your latest snorkeling trip or hiking selfie. Police departments are starting to use wearable versions to chronicle emergency calls while in the field. The Sena 10c is a Bluetooth headset with a built-in action camera and video player. The 3-ounce system also has an intercom, phone, radio and live narration during filming.  The real star power of the system, however, is the ability for video tagging. When something important happens, a police officer double taps the record button to start dashcam-style filming. That means the camera will record the previous minute, current minute and next minute and automatically save all the records.


TechNews Figherfighter Motorcycle
Police officers have long utilized motorcycles to combat crime, and now firefighters are jumping on the trend.  Motorcycles offer options for a couple of firefighters to respond to a small fire, rather than utilizing the big trucks that could be needed elsewhere.  The customized bikes are outfitted with a 100-foot hose and two water tanks with a foam mixture to quickly extinguish fires. The bikes could increase response time because firefighters can navigate traffic quicker, and respond to more emergency calls.


TechNews StarChase Pursuit Management System GPS Dart
Sorry guys, no more Hollywood-style high-speed chases that keep us riveted to our screens. The StarChase pursuit management system aims to end those. But this will be welcome news if you’ve ever shared the road with a crazed suspect trying to outrun the police. The StarChase system uses GPS technology to track a suspect without a pursuit. Police officers use a laser sight to target a vehicle and launch a cylinder-shaped GPS tag from the grille of the patrol car. That tag sticks to the suspect’s car and relays real-time location to dispatch. Instead of swerving through traffic to chase the car, officers can create a strategic plan. It’s already been used in dozens of states to catch suspects, all without any car crashes or injuries.


Next time you’re about to swat a mosquito; you might want to think twice. It could be the government’s latest drone to gather intelligence. Officially called micro air vehicles, these creations are reminiscent of 007 spy gadgets. Although no agency claims to use them, many private companies have released prototypes. The general idea is to model the mini drone after insects for aerodynamics and stealth. The prototypes are designed to gather video and audio from urban areas.  Pilots can remotely operate the drones, but the government is seeking more research for the drones to fly themselves through obstacle-laden environments.


TechNews Tectical Lights Flashlight Gloves
Afraid of the dark? You have nothing to fear with TM Tactical’s light gloves. There’s an activation sensor built into the palm of the glove to turn on the LED flashlight. There are various settings, including a strobe light option. Lithium polymer batteries power the light, and can easily be recharged with the mini USB charging port. An easy, hands-free flashlight is an obvious benefit for police and rescue teams in the field. But could also be handy for the public too.

photo credit: Office of Naval Research, TU Delft, VIEVU, EMPA, Sena, East Sussex Fire and Rescue, StarChase, The Apricity, TM Tactical

13 Responses

  1. Ashlee Montgomery

    I think it’s great that body cameras are being used in the field. All these cell phone video footage has created a lot of controversy in law enforcement. Hopefully these cameras will level the playing field a bit

  2. David Yamamoto

    That firefighting robot is insane. All the tech coming out of the Office of Naval Research is always so ahead of its time. Their robotic mule is a game-changer.

  3. Saw one of those app controlled helicopters when in Selfages in London before Christmas they looked very cool. I think they were about $3,400 so very expensive as well. I think TEL should invest in one for further research!

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