Thursday, May 6, 2010

Delhi Cops Got a Robot to Detect and Defuse Bombs

Delhi Police has procured a mini remote-operating vehicle (MROV) which will be used in Bomb finding and defuse operations.

The MROV, which came at the whopping price of Rs 90 lakh, is the first of its kind robot bought by Delhi Police. It primarily helps to detect and disarm hidden bombs and explosives, instead of sending in a human to do the same job, but it is also capable of much more. The robot has been imported from Canada and can be remote controlled within a radius of 500 meters. ‘‘The MROV, which weighs 65 kg, can also drag a weight of 113 kg. Therefore, without risking the life of another human being, it can drag a human body out of a combat zone,” said a senior police officer.

Delhi Police bought the robot ahead of the Commonwealth Games as an added safeguard. Joint commissioner of police (northern range) Karnal Singh said, ‘‘The robot will be useful in bomb-scare situations. This is why we bought one for Delhi Police.” The robot, which has arms and shoulders, has four night-vision cameras fitted on it. It can also operate underwater and over rough terrain. One of its four cameras is a zoom camera. The MROV moves at a maximum speed of 8 kilometer per hour and a minimum speed of 3 kilometer per hour. It can also climb heights and can be used in a mounted position, to say aim a water cannon down at a rioting mob.

The MROV is weatherproof. It can also be used in rescue operations where it might otherwise have been dangerous to send in a human rescuer. But it is not fire-resistant, added an official. The machine, added the official, has a SWAT (special weapons and tactics) feature since it can be used to fire a weapon or water cannon after it has been mounted. The feature helps agencies when they do not want to risk the life of a policeman or a soldier.

Delhi Police said they will impart training to their personnel to operate the MROV. The robot has been bought through a tender, which means the company will also be responsible for annual maintenance of the machine.