Feeds

Hero police robot back on duty after 'unstable man' blasts it with shotgun

Tin cop 'did its job', laughs off leaden hail from 12-bore

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

A heroic police robot has returned to duty with a Nebraska force after being put out of action by an "unstable man" who blasted it repeatedly with a 12-bore* shotgun at point blank range during a tense siege this summer.

The story begins in Bellvue, Nebraska, on August 10. Ordinary fleshy plods responded to reports of an "unstable man with a gun", but were forced to beat a retreat on being greeted with a volley of shots. The SWAT team were called in, and as is nowadays routine, the tactical lawmen decided to send in a robot colleague to check out the lay of the land.

We learn courtesy of Applied Research Associates, the robot's maker, that:

Negotiations continued for several hours. During that period of time, the officer in control of the robot viewed the suspect emerging from the garage doorway attempting to close the garage door with his firearm in hand. He then fired four rounds from his 12 gauge shotgun at the robot, disabling it. Following that activity, teargas was introduced into the home and the suspect surrendered.

“Had we not deployed the [robot] there is a good chance we would have had SWAT officers much closer to that doorway and possibly in harm’s way,” said Dave Stukenholtz, Criminal Investigations Bureau Commander for Bellevue Police Department.

“It did its job,” boasted Bob Quinn of ARA. “Anytime a robot is shot, it’s an example of keeping an officer out of the line of fire. Not only did the robot keep SWAT officers informed of suspect activity, but it’s rugged enough that even after four rounds at close range, it’s fixable and quickly ready to rejoin the team in Nebraska.”

That said, though the tin cop is now fully repaired and back on duty with the Bellevue SWAT team as of today, it's perhaps not as robust as certain other mechanical lawmen. A robot plod in Florida last year - having been riddled with bullets by a nude man armed with an AK47 assault rifle - remained functional enough to beat a hasty retreat. Another metallic public servant in Tennessee was plainly even tougher, as mounted an uncompromising assault on a heavily armed man which left his home a smoking ruin.

That said, still another mechanised policeman was defeated by a Connecticut man in January without the need even to use firearms: in that case the luckless tin cop was hurled through a door after a hand-to-hand struggle. At least the now-repaired Bellevue machine can console itself with the knowledge that it took heavy gunfire to put it down.

It's plain that the ongoing struggle between the machines and humanity is far from one-sided. ®

Bootnote

*12-gauge, for our US readers. Reports don't specify what kind of rounds the unstable gunman had loaded, but we here on the Reg tin-cop desk would speculate that he probably wasn't using solid slugs or it might have been cheaper to just get a new robot.

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Win a year’s supply of chocolate (no tech knowledge required)
Over £200 worth of the good stuff up for grabs
Facebook's Zuckerberg in EBOLA VIRUS FIGHT: Billionaire battles bug
US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention contacted as site supremo coughs up
Space exploration is just so lame. NEW APPS are mankind's future
We feel obliged to point out the headline statement is total, utter cobblers
Red Bull does NOT give you wings, $13.5m lawsuit says so
Website letting consumers claim $10 cash back crashes after stampede
Down-under record: Australian gets $140k for pussy
'Tiffany' closes deal - 'it's more common to offer your wife', says agent
Internet finally ready to replace answering machine cassette tape
It's a simple message and I'm leaving out the whistles and bells
Swiss wildlife park serves up furry residents to visitors
'It's ecological' says spokesman, now how would you like your Bambi done?
The iPAD launch BEFORE it happened: SPECULATIVE GUFF ahead of actual event
Nerve-shattering run-up to the pre-planned known event
STONER SHEEP get the MUNCHIES after feasting on £4k worth of cannabis plants
Baaaaaa! Fanny's Farm's woolly flock is high, maaaaaan
FedEx helps deliver THOUSANDS of spam messages DIRECT to its Blighty customers
Don't worry Wilson, I'll do all the paddling. You just hang on
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.