Police

  • With the prospect of robot police officers hitting our streets, it's worth taking a moment to look at the current state of affairs, where we're headed, and whether it's a good idea to give robots guns.
  • If any place in the world is moving towards a Bladerunner-esque, sci-fi future, it's Dubai. The city is now introducing robots into its police force with the first cop-bot starting work this week and plans for 25 percent of its force to be robotic by 2030.
  • ​Hybrid power has found its way into hatchbacks, SUVs and sedans, but the technology hasn't been deemed fit for life in law enforcement. At least, it hadn't up until now. Criminals, meet the Ford Police Responder Hybrid Sedan, capable of running in stealthy battery-only mode up to 60 mph.
  • ​A sensor designed for law enforcement can alert an officer's body cameras to start recording automatically when a weapon is drawn. The Axon Signal Sidearm from TASER International is a wireless sensor that attaches to an existing firearm holster and integrates with the company's wearable cameras.
  • ​The ancient art of origami has been inspiring engineers and designers for decades. Now a team at Brigham Young University has used the Japanese folding technique to create a bullet-proof shield that is lightweight and portable, and can stop bullets from 9mm, .357 Magnum and .44 Magnum handguns.
  • Machine learning algorithms are already aiding police forces around the world, with systems designed to identify crime hotspots with the goal of preventing crimes before they occur. The Dubai Police is the latest to have AI backup, in the form of SIME's new Crime Prediction software.
  • The Grappler​ is a nasty little device that mounts to the front of police pursuit cars and stops a car chase right in its tracks, safely and securely. It shoots out a net that grabs onto the target's rear wheel, wraps around it and completely drags the axle to a stop while destroying the tire.
  • Imagine you’re trying to find your car in a crowded parking lot. Simply say “locate car” and a tiny drone on your shoulder flies off and guides you to it. Amazon has been awarded a patent for such a drone, which may also be used by emergency personnel to locate missing children or spot fires.
  • A research project, which the University of Cambridge calls one of the largest randomized-controlled experiments in the history of criminal justice research, found that when police officers wore body cameras, complaints against them went down by an astounding 93 percent.
  • To provide riot police with a psychological advantage, Nottingham Trent University has come up with a new riot shield that allows the police to see the rioters clearly, but not vice versa.​
  • ​The Los Angeles Police Department has put 100 BMW i3s on order in an attempt to cut down on running costs. Although they offer good low-down torque, the police department won't be using the little BMWs in pursuit situations, instead relegating them to more mundane runabout status.
  • Denmark's prolific BIG recently unveiled its new police station for the Bronx's Melrose neighborhood. Once completed, the 40th Precinct Station will sport a green roof and is planned for LEED Silver certification.