Robocop gets real: The remote controlled robot that could put injured police back on the beat

  • Project aiming to develop  a robot controlled remotely by injured officers
  • Officers would control  the virtual cop through a virtual reality headset
  • Could be used to patrol  nuclear facilities, ports and even urban areas

By Daniel Bates

PUBLISHED:09:46 EST, 1  October 2012| UPDATED:09:48 EST, 1 October 2012


US researchers are working on a real-life  Robocop who would patrol the streets to combat crime – just like in the  film.

Injured policemen or soldiers will be wired  up to the ‘PatrolBot’ which will effectively give them mechanical limbs that  they have lost whilst in service.

The plan is to make a basic version of Alex  Murphy, the fictional policeman in the 1987 hit Robocop, who is turned into a  cyber cop after being nearly killed in the line of duty.

Early prototype drawings of the real life RoboCop, called PatrolBot, being developed in the US.Early prototype drawings of the real life RoboCop,  called PatrolBot, being developed in the US.

His brain and spinal cord are salvaged and  put into the body of an armour-plated android – then sent out to protect the  public.

The new technology is based on advances in  the US military in telerobotics, which is where users are wired up remotely to a  robot and given physical feedback to simulate the feeling of being  there.

The injured person would use cameras and  sensors on the PatrolBot which would be connected to their own body.

They would see using a virtual reality helmet  which would make it look like they were peering through the robot’s eyes.

Preliminary sketches drawn up by Florida  University International show show a Robocop style android on wheels clad in  silver armour.

It also bears a resemblance to the evil robot  ED-209 which featured in the film.

The research echoes the popular film Robocop.The research echoes the popular film Robocop.

According to, the aim of the  research is to ‘develop telebots capable of patrolling in high-density public  spaces and performing surveillance in sensitive areas such as ports and nuclear  facilities.

‘The prototype will incorporate video, audio  and sensory capabilities.’

The project was created by Jeremy Robbins, a  lieutenant commander in the US Navy Reserves, in conjunction with  FIU.

Mr Robbins said: ‘We want to use telebots to  give disabled military and police veterans an opportunity to serve in law  enforcement.

‘With telebots, a disabled police officer  will be capable of performing many, if not most, of the functions of a normal  patrol officer – interacting with the community, patrolling, responding to  emergency calls, issuing citations.

‘Telerobotics has already begun to make its  way into the worlds of medicine, business and the military.

‘Extending it into law enforcement is simply  the natural progression of things.’

Mr Robbins added that the aim was to bring a  person back to work who otherwise would not be able to.

He said: ‘These men and women joined the  police and armed forces in order  to serve their country, but now because of  injury that ability has been  diminished.

‘I don’t know  how to fix a severed spine,  but restoring that ability to serve, and  specifically the ability to serve in  law enforcement – that I think we  can fix.’

Prototype robots being tested by the group can change from two wheels to four, depending on the terrain.Prototype robots being tested by the group can change  from two wheels to four, depending on the terrain.

FIU professor Nagarajan Prabakar said: ‘We  want to look at something that’s affordable and can also be deployed so that  people can use it.

‘That’s a very important part of this.

‘We want to make sure that the cost is  affordable for police departments and others.’

The prototypes have rugged tyres allowing them to go off road while on patrol.The prototypes have rugged tyres allowing them to go off  road while on patrol.

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Categories: Artificial Neural Network (ANN), Autonomous, Biotechnology ( New ), Internet, Technology, Transhuman

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