Anchor ads are not supported on this page.

4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

The rise of robot use by San Diego cops

Navy, police and fire departments use devices with sensors, arms, other protrusions

New unmanned boats patrolling the Coronado Bridge
New unmanned boats patrolling the Coronado Bridge

In San Diego, cutting-edge technology is revolutionizing public safety. Robots are now integral to our city's security efforts, with police, SWAT teams, the San Diego  Fire-Rescue Department, and private security companies deploying advanced robotic systems to enhance their operations. 

These autonomous machines, capable of performing tasks that once required human intervention, are supposed to make streets safer and responses more efficient. Meanwhile, the U.S. Navy bases are launching unmanned boats from San Diego's shores, extending this technological prowess to protect our nation's waters. 

On May 20, the U.S. Navy posted a video on YouTube showcasing its two new unmanned boats patrolling the Coronado Bridge. The 16-foot grey craft operate from the Naval Amphibious Base Coronado.

"It was not like Robocop, but rad nonetheless."


Just like the robots helping police officers and SWAT teams inland, these crewless boats made by Maritime Applied Physics Corporation are packed with computers, cameras, sensors, a power supply to help the Navy monitor the waters.

“This will be accomplished through experimentation with the fleet testing,” says Captain Derek Rader, who recently assumed command of the unmanned boats.

"If the Navy integrates robots to perform tasks on — and more so, off the vessels, that's going to be on the next level," exclaimed Jack S., a toy dealer and robot fanatic from Chula Vista. "The unmanned boats and robots will be able to relay intel back to our bases and much more.

"On Instagram, I saw a robot that climbed stairs and helped our police in North County capture a man hiding on the second floor of a building. I always tell people, 'It was not like Robocop,' but rad nonetheless."

While the robots helping local law enforcement agents do not resemble the cyborg portrayed by Peter Weller in the 1987 Robocop cult classic, they get the job done. Some of SDPD's robots are much smaller and look more like the "Big Trak toy from the 1980s," Jack added. 

Jack referred to the FLIRs, which San Diego police  discussed in a community meeting in February, as six different technological devices that would help the officers serve the San Diego communities more safely.

Sponsored
Sponsored

The first two devices discussed in February were FLIR's FirstLook Generation 1 and 2 robots. These resemble the Big Trak toy Jack, the robot collector mentioned earlier.

Marquez and the woman were holed up in a downtown San Diego High School dumpster.


The FLIRs are throwable six-pound robots with tracks which can climb seven-inch obstacles like curbs and stairs. When the robots are flipped over, they have a pair of symmetrical and parallel protrusions from the rear that help to flip the robot upright. The unit has four built-in cameras with illumination and zoom features and audio capabilities and is small enough to chuck into a dangerous situation.

A video on FLIR's site depicts military-looking men  throwing the robots through a window. The robot is "ideal for building clearing, raids, and other close-in scenarios—or to remotely assess industrial environments."

In 2021, news broke of a remote-controlled robot, which Jack says might've been a FLIR or a robot equally as small, that helped SWAT officers rescue a woman from Christopher Marquez, an armed man. Marquez and the woman were holed up in a downtown San Diego High School dumpster. Because the robot was "Able to hear what was being said inside, two SWAT officers fired at Marquez after he allegedly made concerning comments and maneuvered a rifle towards the woman," reads the Campus Safety magazine site.)

The FLIR robots have add-ons like a manipulator's arm, motorized retention pins for delivering smaller items, and thermal cameras to look for fugitives in dark places. There are optional chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear material and Hazmat sensors and a disruptor in case a mysterious-looking item needs to be abruptly moved.    

San Diego Fire-Rescue Department's bomb squad uses or plans to use three FirstLook 110 robots that closely resemble the FLIR's FirstLook robots.

The third robot presented by police in February was an ICOR Mini-Caliber Robot, which is larger than the FLIRs above. The ICOR has tracks and a mechanical arm protruding with a grip to hold something. The ICOR resembles a robotic unit used in an October standoff with a man holed up with a deceased woman in a Del Cerro motel room. NBC 7 news footage shows a police robot bringing the suspect a cigarette during the standoff, and after he took the cigarette, he tossed the robot over the motel's railing.

The other three electronic devices presented by police  in February were two 836 Technologies communication devices and a SWIFT Under Door Camera.  

In April, JDS Security Services reportedly deployed the first of three autonomous security robots, which began patrolling the Stratton Apartments and adjacent streets in Clairemont.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Mayor’s Office tackles twin problems of homelessness and housing

Here Comes The Neighborhood
Next Article

Surfaris spawn takes Tourmaliners to Bay Park residency

Guitarist Deven Berryhill says the band has surf music in its DNA
New unmanned boats patrolling the Coronado Bridge
New unmanned boats patrolling the Coronado Bridge

In San Diego, cutting-edge technology is revolutionizing public safety. Robots are now integral to our city's security efforts, with police, SWAT teams, the San Diego  Fire-Rescue Department, and private security companies deploying advanced robotic systems to enhance their operations. 

These autonomous machines, capable of performing tasks that once required human intervention, are supposed to make streets safer and responses more efficient. Meanwhile, the U.S. Navy bases are launching unmanned boats from San Diego's shores, extending this technological prowess to protect our nation's waters. 

On May 20, the U.S. Navy posted a video on YouTube showcasing its two new unmanned boats patrolling the Coronado Bridge. The 16-foot grey craft operate from the Naval Amphibious Base Coronado.

"It was not like Robocop, but rad nonetheless."


Just like the robots helping police officers and SWAT teams inland, these crewless boats made by Maritime Applied Physics Corporation are packed with computers, cameras, sensors, a power supply to help the Navy monitor the waters.

“This will be accomplished through experimentation with the fleet testing,” says Captain Derek Rader, who recently assumed command of the unmanned boats.

"If the Navy integrates robots to perform tasks on — and more so, off the vessels, that's going to be on the next level," exclaimed Jack S., a toy dealer and robot fanatic from Chula Vista. "The unmanned boats and robots will be able to relay intel back to our bases and much more.

"On Instagram, I saw a robot that climbed stairs and helped our police in North County capture a man hiding on the second floor of a building. I always tell people, 'It was not like Robocop,' but rad nonetheless."

While the robots helping local law enforcement agents do not resemble the cyborg portrayed by Peter Weller in the 1987 Robocop cult classic, they get the job done. Some of SDPD's robots are much smaller and look more like the "Big Trak toy from the 1980s," Jack added. 

Jack referred to the FLIRs, which San Diego police  discussed in a community meeting in February, as six different technological devices that would help the officers serve the San Diego communities more safely.

Sponsored
Sponsored

The first two devices discussed in February were FLIR's FirstLook Generation 1 and 2 robots. These resemble the Big Trak toy Jack, the robot collector mentioned earlier.

Marquez and the woman were holed up in a downtown San Diego High School dumpster.


The FLIRs are throwable six-pound robots with tracks which can climb seven-inch obstacles like curbs and stairs. When the robots are flipped over, they have a pair of symmetrical and parallel protrusions from the rear that help to flip the robot upright. The unit has four built-in cameras with illumination and zoom features and audio capabilities and is small enough to chuck into a dangerous situation.

A video on FLIR's site depicts military-looking men  throwing the robots through a window. The robot is "ideal for building clearing, raids, and other close-in scenarios—or to remotely assess industrial environments."

In 2021, news broke of a remote-controlled robot, which Jack says might've been a FLIR or a robot equally as small, that helped SWAT officers rescue a woman from Christopher Marquez, an armed man. Marquez and the woman were holed up in a downtown San Diego High School dumpster. Because the robot was "Able to hear what was being said inside, two SWAT officers fired at Marquez after he allegedly made concerning comments and maneuvered a rifle towards the woman," reads the Campus Safety magazine site.)

The FLIR robots have add-ons like a manipulator's arm, motorized retention pins for delivering smaller items, and thermal cameras to look for fugitives in dark places. There are optional chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear material and Hazmat sensors and a disruptor in case a mysterious-looking item needs to be abruptly moved.    

San Diego Fire-Rescue Department's bomb squad uses or plans to use three FirstLook 110 robots that closely resemble the FLIR's FirstLook robots.

The third robot presented by police in February was an ICOR Mini-Caliber Robot, which is larger than the FLIRs above. The ICOR has tracks and a mechanical arm protruding with a grip to hold something. The ICOR resembles a robotic unit used in an October standoff with a man holed up with a deceased woman in a Del Cerro motel room. NBC 7 news footage shows a police robot bringing the suspect a cigarette during the standoff, and after he took the cigarette, he tossed the robot over the motel's railing.

The other three electronic devices presented by police  in February were two 836 Technologies communication devices and a SWIFT Under Door Camera.  

In April, JDS Security Services reportedly deployed the first of three autonomous security robots, which began patrolling the Stratton Apartments and adjacent streets in Clairemont.

Comments
Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Wacken Metal Battle, Smooth Jazz Festival, Heavy Hawaii, Tasha Smith Godinez, Death To All

Soft jazz and hard rock in City Heights, Linda Vista, Bay Park, and downtown
Next Article

San Diego Union and San Diego Reader writer Don Bauder passes away

Retired in 2018
Comments
Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories Fishing Report — What’s getting hooked from ship and shore From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town The Gonzo Report — Making the musical scene, or at least reporting from it Letters — Our inbox Movies@Home — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Outdoors — Weekly changes in flora and fauna Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Street Style — San Diego streets have style Surf Diego — Real stories from those braving the waves Theater — On stage in San Diego this week Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close

Anchor ads are not supported on this page.