HCSO Wolverine robot and DPD robot likely similar

- What finally stopped Dallas police shooter Micah Johnson - after he shot 12 police officers, killing five, as well as two civilians - wasn't a bullet. It was a bomb.

"We saw no other option but to use our bomb robot and place a device on its extension for it to detonate where the suspect was," explained Dallas Police Chief David Brown. "Other options would have exposed our officers to great danger." 

Reportedly, it's the first time police have used a robot armed with explosives to kill a suspect on American soil. The robot Dallas police used is meant to dispose of explosive devices, which it did, but with a very different outcome.

DPD's robot was likely similar to the ones operated by the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.

"With the modern advances, we're fortunate to have pieces of equipment like this," said HCSO Master Deputy Dennis Bonefont.

The robot allows officers to remotely inspect, remove and, most importantly, stay safely away from any explosives or suspicious packages - and now suspects.

It can also give operators crucial intelligence by venturing into scenes too hostile to send a person.

"On a good day, we can be a football field away," Bonefont said.

HCSO's Wolverine robot gets around using six wheels, each with its own drive motor, and covered in tank-like tracks. It also has an bending arm that twists and rotates similar to a human arm.

The robots are highly adaptable, which is perhaps why Dallas police decided to call on it to end that shooting rampage.

"I'm sure there's situations out there where we're able to use a robot where we haven't seen it done before," said Bonefont .

The strategy raises new questions in the increased use of robots and other remote deivces to fight crime and protect lives.

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