Air Force test system to stop active shooters with robots and drones

The US Air Force is testing on its bases a system using artificial intelligence and drones aimed at stopping an active shooter.

“The idea behind the platform is to be able to take a robot and ultimately hamper, disorient an active threat on a facility before it can do more damage,” said ZeroEyes, senior vice president of government solutions, JT Wilkins, whose company develops the technology. for the government, National Defense said.

The system will build on the company’s AI gun detection software that is already used in the security camera system at Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota, which can then deploy drones or robots to combat a potential active shooter.

Drones or robots will use non-lethal means aimed at disorienting a shooter, including sirens and strobe lights.

Wilkins said research shows shooters expose their weapons two to 30 minutes before firing their first shots, which, when detected, could give robots a chance to intervene before a violent incident.

“So that’s ultimately where we want to be able to get those detections out and be able to send a robot out to potentially interdict while we ride a squad car from one side of the base to the other,” he said. declared.

But the robots won’t act alone after detecting a potential weapon, Wilkins said, noting there will be a human on hand to review positive alarms.

A memorial for the victims of the mass shooting at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York.
Photo by John Normile/Getty Images

“You know every AI is going to generate false positives, and that’s why we put a human reviewer in there to make sure we can mitigate some of that,” Wilkins said.

After verification of an active threat, the human can release the robot or drone to intervene. The machines will not replace physical security or the police, but will act as a “force multiplier” that can help first responders get to the scene.

The trial period for the system will be 15 months, with Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida also receiving the AI ​​gun detection software without the robotic interdiction system.

A police officer at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, where 21 people were killed in a mass shooting.
A police officer at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, where 21 people were killed in a mass shooting.
Photo by ALLISON DINNER/AFP via Getty Images

The news comes after several mass shootings have rocked the United States in recent months, including a case in which an armed civilian at an Indiana mall was able to intervene and stop the shooter before he could do more. of victims.

Watkins said the ZeroEyes system won’t be limited to just government customers, noting that the company has 50 commercial customers and that he expects more businesses to adopt the system once it is fully developed.

New York Post

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