More affordable for local police and fire departments, the iRobot Corp. has introduced a small robot for these professionals to use in specific circumstances. The iRobot Negotiator is designed with the ability to climb stairs and detect chemicals according to specifications given. The PackBot 510 has been used, but as an unmanned ground robot, it is larger and more complex than the iRobot version.
These robots offer life-saving alternatives for cities to use and with iRobot making them lighter, less complex, and easier to afford, I have a feeling they will be used more. Local agencies will be able to look into using these and iRobot Corp. is making these available by the end of 2008. The company is known for their behavior-based robots that incorporate navigation, mobility, manipulation, and artifical intelligence.
I have seen a few of these robots at work (the home gutter cleaner is my favorite) and they do a fine job. Visit the main site for more information.