Civic News
Crime / Robotics

Baltimore police are buying an underwater robot for harbor searches

The police department is adding VideoRay's remotely operated underwater vehicle to its technology options.

VideoRay's drone will search the harbor. (Courtesy photo by Christian Skauge)

Baltimore police are bringing a new robot onto the force to provide some help with harbor searches.
According to city documents, the police department is purchasing a remotely operated underwater vehicle, or ROV, made by Pottstown, Pa.–based VideoRay. The $71, 786 purchase was approved this week by the city’s Board of Estimates.
A police spokesman told the Baltimore Sun, which first reported the story, that the department used the technology after divers tried for two weeks to search the harbor for a man earlier this year. The city put out a request to buy such a device the next month.

VideoRay’s Pro 4 Plus BASE includes the submersible robot, which about 13.5 pounds. It’s driven with a controller and computer with pre-loaded software.
Along with searches, the company touts applications for commercial diving, research, maritime salvage and film and TV.
We’ve been seeing more underwater drones in development over recent years, and uses are only growing. Just watch out for crab nets.

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