New robots help keep Columbus bomb squad safe - WRBL

New robots help keep Columbus bomb squad safe

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COLUMBUS, Ga. -

Financial cutbacks are happening across the board, but the Columbus Office of Homeland Security got some new toys in the nick of time. The new technology will help keep the bomb squad out of danger.

The Homeland Security office responds to around 90 calls a year for suspicious packages, bomb threats, and hostage situations. With $59,000 in new robots, however, men on the front line can work a little more at ease.

Grant money from the federal Homeland Security department funded the four Throwbots that are equipped with Audio/Video capabilities and weigh about three pounds each.

Office director Lt. Brad Hicks says, "Instead of suiting a bomb tech up in 90 pounds of protective equipment, we normally deploy one of these small things to get down to see what we're looking at. That way we can determine the best method to use to defeat what we're dealing with."

Previously the office shared a 500 pound robot and a two man-powered medium-sized robot with the sheriff's department. Hicks says the Throwbots are much more maneuverable.

Homeland Security has already used the Throwbots five times since they got them in January. Hicks says the robots are a good way for taxpayers to see a return on federal dollars.

Jessi Mitchell

Jessi joined the WRBL news team in October 2012 after working as a freelance production assistant for MTV Networks in Los Angeles.
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