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Tuesday, April 19, 2005

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Too Good to be True: From the Associated Press:

Police in Ariz. Seek Monkey for SWAT Team

Mon Apr 18, 10:12 PM ET

MESA, Ariz. - The Mesa Police Department is looking to add some primal instinct to its SWAT team. And to do that, it's looking to a monkey.

"Everybody laughs about it until they really start thinking about it," said Mesa Officer Sean Truelove, who builds and operates tactical robots for the suburban Phoenix SWAT team. "It would change the way we do business."

...

The monkey, which costs $15,000, is what Truelove envisions as the ultimate SWAT reconnaissance tool.

Since 1979, capuchin monkeys have been trained to be companions for people who are quadriplegics by performing daily tasks, such as serving food, opening and closing doors, turning lights on and off, retrieving objects and brushing hair.

Truelove hopes the same training could prepare a monkey for special-ops intelligence.

Weighing only 3 to 8 pounds with tiny humanlike hands and puzzle-solving skills, Truelove said it could unlock doors, search buildings and find suicide victims on command. Dressed in a Kevlar vest, video camera and two-way radio, the small monkey would be able to get into places no officer or robot could go.

Ah, but what about a robot monkey...

 


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