Tempe police might be getting a new member on the bomb squad. The prospective worker can move across rough terrain, squeeze through narrow spaces, fearlessly grab explosives — and is a robot.
The City Council is scheduled tonight to consider whether to give police the OK to use federal grant money to purchase a $183,000 robot.
Last year, the police department received a $1.2 million grant as part of the Urban Area Securities Initiative.
"We’ve committed to be a rapid-response team, should anything happen in the state," said Brenda Buren, police fiscal administrator.
The Remotec Andros F6A Hazardous Duty robot system would also be used for local SWAT operations in addition to two smaller robots purchased a couple of months ago, said Chuck Corning, bomb squad commander.
"People don’t need to go into harm’s way," said sales manager Don Wilson of Remotec.
"The robot can hear and see everything going on and can get firsthand information of anything unknown," he said.
The robot has the ability to climb stairs, operate in the rain, convey images from multiple TV cameras, break windows and handle explosives, according to Remotec.