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It is a difficult fact to admit that the US is amid a shooter epidemic. More and more US schools and institutions are increasing their security measures and looking for ways to combat this horrible crisis. Not only are private and government facilities taking part in this effort, so is the military. The US Air Force has begun testing a system that utilized artificial intelligence (AI) and drones on several bases to aid in putting a stop to the active shooter phenomenon.

The system will be built off previous AI gun-detection software that is already in use in security camera systems across several Air Force bases, allowing it to deploy drones or robots to combat a potential active shooter. The drones or robots will use non-lethal means aimed at disorienting a shooter, including sirens and strobe lights.

“The entire idea behind the platform is being able to take a robot and ultimately impede, disorient an active threat on an installation before they can do any more damage,” ZeroEyes Senior Vice President of Government Solutions JT Wilkins, whose company is developing the technology for the government, told National Defense.

According to research, up to 85 percent of active shooters expose their weapons two to 30 minutes prior to firing their first shot. Once detected, this period of time could give the robots an opportunity to intervene ahead of a violent incident. The most crucial part is the ability to detect these weapons and send in a robot until relevant personnel arrive at the scene. Though the system uses AI and drone technology, it is not fully autonomous. After detecting a potential weapon, a human must verify and review the positive warnings. The robots and drones are not being tested to replace human intervenes such as security or the police, but act as support to first responders

The trial period of the system is expected to last 15 months and that the system will be available for use by government and private sectors alike. 

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