by Mat Dirjish
Public safety device developer Axon has formally begun development of a non-lethal, remotely-operated taser drone system as part of a long-term plan to stop mass shootings. The company claims it is committed to public engagement and dialogue during the development process.
The process includes accelerating detection and improving real-time situational awareness of active shooter events, enhancing first responder effectiveness through virtual reality (VR) training, and deploying remotely-operated, non-lethal drones capable of incapacitating an active shooter in less than 60 seconds.
The taser drone is part of a three-part strategy to stop mass shooter events:
- Integrate camera networks and other sensors into real-time communications with first responders. Partnering with camera-connectivity company Fusus, Axon body cameras, dashboard cameras, and air-powered drones integrate with the Fusus network to provide real-time access to a wide network of sensors.
- Enhance first responder effectiveness through immersive VR active shooter response training via Axon’s Virtual Reality Simulator Training. The company plans to develop more effective training within the next 12 months.
- Enable immediate threat incapacitation through remotely operated, non-lethal drone capability. Axon is developing a miniature, lightweight taser for deployment on a small drone or robot. The company is collaborating with DroneSense on a remote piloting capability and Axon’s imaging team will develop targeting algorithms to assist operators in properly and safely aiming the device.
Axon’s three laws of first responder drones:
- Humans must own decisions and remain accountable. Human drone/robot operators must accept legal and moral responsibility for any decision that impacts a human subject.
- Drones must save lives, not take them. Only non-deadly force is acceptable.
- Agencies must provide rigorous oversight and transparency to ensure acceptable use. Institutions operating robots capable of deploying force must develop publicly available policies describing in advance the types of circumstances that justify deploying robots.
To evaluate this technology’s impact on communities, Axon will work with its Community Advisory Coalition (CAC). The CAC brings together community leaders to share diverse perspectives and inform Axon’s products and services.
The effort to detect and stop mass shooting events will require a wide range of partnerships. Interested parties can email their inquiries to Axon Partners. For more information and updates, send email requests to Stop Shootings. And for even greater gleaning, visit the Axon, Fusus, and DroneSense websites.
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