The U.K. Telegraph reports on a new tech trend in border security: U.K. officials are using robots to search cars, buses, and other vehicles for illegal immigrants attempting to smuggle themselves into the country.
The robot in question, described as being “the size of a briefcase,” has searchlights, high-resolution video cameras, four-wheel-drive, and can also be fitted with heartbeat detectors and sensors to identify smuggled chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear materials. Border officials have been dispatching it to search the undersides of vehicles and other closed spaces and sniff out anyone hiding inside.
Estimates place the number of illegal immigrants in the U.K. as around 500,000, and the Home Office has devised all manner of methods to discourage illegal immigration, including sending menacing text messages to visitors when their visas are about to expire. According to a Border Agency spokesman, last year officials nabbed 18,000 people on their way in. Still, somehow we doubt that robots were what U.K. and Wales Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor had in mind when he called for government amnesty for migrants.
Links to this Post
- Chemical Engineering » Blog Archive » The Latest in Illegal Immigrants’ Woes: People-Sniffing Robots | July 21, 2008
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