Like all Americans, we were horrified to learn about the bombing of the Boston Marathon. Like all Americans, we were relieved when the suspects were captured. Only recently, did we discover that AMREL technology may have played a small role in the manhunt.
On Friday, April 19th, a Honda Civic was found to be parked in Watertown, Massachusetts. The car had been abandoned by Dzohkhar Tsarnaev after he and his brother had a gunfight with the police.
The police were understandably nervous approaching the car. According to the most recent reports, the suspects had more than one homemade bomb and had even thrown them at the police during the chase. Was the car rigged to explode?
Fortunately, the police had the means to minimize their personal danger. Two PackBots, Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGV), were deployed to examine the car. You can read the details here.
As longtime observers of AMREL no doubt know, we have been the main suppliers of Operational Control Units (OCU) for PackBots for years. It is highly likely that the police used AMREL platforms to control the UGVs.
While technology played a role in precipitating this disaster, it also was significant in the response. Advanced medical knowledge enabled a surprising number of seriously wounded to survive. Video’s and cameras ubiquitous’ presence at the Marathon were crucial in identifying the suspects. Unmanned systems developed to keep soldiers safe from IEDs in Iraq and Afghanistan helped keep the Public Safety personnel safe from IEDs in Massachusetts.
While we all hope that this is the last time that products designed for combat will be used in the United States, it is reassuring that in the face of disaster, we have means of reducing the risk to our First Responders.
http://amrel.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/PackBot1.jpg402580William Finnhttp://amrel.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/amrel_logo300-225x60dpi.jpgWilliam Finn2013-04-25 15:21:532014-01-23 09:46:04AMREL & the Boston Bombing