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Chicago invests in bomb-defusing robots that can't climb up two steps

Cyrus Farivar

Possibly fearing an invasion by the South Korean gun-toting sentry army, the city of Chicago has just purchased a trio of $135,000 bomb-diffusing robots (paid for by your Department of Homeland Security!), dubbed Frank in honor of the local flesh-and-blood bomb squad commander. Frank (the bot, not the man) is equipped with four pan-tilt-zoom cameras, x-ray vision, night vision, chemical sensors, two sets of treads, a mic, speaker, and our favorite part, a high-powered water cannon. Although all of those things sound like the perfect recipe for a rave, Frank will unfortunately be assigned boring tasks like taking down booby-trapped meth labs or standing on call at Chicago O'Hare Airport. However, before it gets assigned to such tasks, the CPD probably will want to work out some of the kinks in its design -- according to the Chicago Sun-Times, Frank took a half-dozen attempts to climb a two-step riser at Navy Pier during a demo on Thursday. Let's just hope those clever would-be bombers don't barricade themselves atop the Sears Tower after sabotaging the elevators, because then Chicagoans would really be screwed.

Read - Chicago Sun-Times
Read - CBS
Read - Medill News Service

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