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'Smart', mobile and deadly

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High-tech bomb-disposal robot fitted with explosives and sent into building to take out Dallas sniper

It was the first time a shooter in the US was taken out by a robot.

It may not be the last.

On July 8, Micah Johnson, 25, terrorised Dallas city by shooting and killing five police officers at a Black Lives Matter protest.

Cornered in El Centro College in downtown Dallas, the Afghanistan war veteran, who was reportedly unhappy with the recent police shootings of black suspects, held Dallas police at bay for several hours.

Concerned that Johnson would harm more police officers, Dallas Police Chief David Brown told his team to improvise a plan to end the stand-off.

The Swat team came up with a plan to attach an explosive device to a robot normally used for bomb disposal and to detonate it where Johnson was hidden in the building.

The robot, a Remotec Andros Mark V-A1, had been bought by the department in 2007 from military tech company Northrop Grumman at a cost of about US$150,000 (S$200,000).


Controlled by remote control, it weighs 220kg and can travel at 4.8kmh.

The Swat team in Dallas reportedly attached about 450g of C4 explosive to the robot's extender arm and manually manoeuvred it by remote, fusion.net reported.

Dallas Police Chief David Brown told CNN that the officers had improvised the whole idea in about 15 minutes.

He noted that Johnson was hidden on the second storey of a parking garage behind a brick wall, which would not have been a problem for the robot as it can easily climb stairs.

The robot was manoeuvred behind a brick wall with the suspect on the other side, Chief Brown said.

The detonation left the robot with only minor damage to its extension arm and it is still functional, the chief added.

Brown seemed satisfied with the outcome and told CNN: "I approved it and I'll do it again if presented with the same circumstances."

united statesSingapore Police ForcebombingUncategorisedrobotC4C4REMOTEC ANDROS MARK VA1Sniper