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Airmen with the US 96th Security Forces Squadron are now in possession of Throwbots, wheeled micro-robots that can roll into unsafe areas and transmit video and audio back to defenders, allowing them to make informed decisions without getting in the line of fire. 

The Throwbot 2 (TB2) robot is a throwable micro-robot platform that enables operators to obtain instantaneous video and audio reconnaissance within indoor or outdoor environments.  Designed to withstand repeated drops of up to 30 feet (9 m) onto concrete, the robot can be thrown into hazardous situations in order to allow operators to quickly make informed decisions when seconds count.  This micro-robot is designed to be able to crawl over a variety of terrain, clearing obstacles up to 2″ (5 cm) tall.  

The airmen think the Throwbot will come in handy in active shooter situations, where the drone’s camera allows operators to see around corners, locate and identify hostages and threats, and reveal a room’s layout. They also plan to use the drone to check under vehicles when conducting commercial vehicle inspections, according to the US Air Force.

For the civilian sector, these robots can be especially efficient to use in emergencies, to help first responders.

According to the robot’s manufacturer Recon Robotics, toss-ability is great when you need eyes in an upstairs room that normal ground robots may have trouble accessing in the first place.

The Throwbot is also more versatile than heavier, tank-like drones that can’t be carried deep into the middle of a dangerous situation, other SWAT officers said.

It can be easily carried in an entry team backpack and when you need to use it, you can simply grab it, pull the pin and throw in the robot, according to military.com.