QinetiQ North America (QNA) recently supplied a fleet of robots to New Jersey State Police as part of a safety preparedness plan at Super Bowl XLVIII. The robots,which are produced out of the company’s Waltham, Mass. facility, ranged in size from 10 to 8,000 pounds and were used to support the Detect and Render Safe Task Force from state, municipal, county, and federal agencies, headed by the New Jersey State Police.
The QNA robots at MetLife Stadium included the throwable Dragon Runner™ 10, the backpackable Dragon Runner 20, the battle proven TALON® with a wide array of hazardous material sensors on board, and the massive Spartacus robot that has the ability to lift and remove suspicious vehicles.
Over the week preceding game day, QNA personnel trained the Detect and Render Safe Task Force in using the robots should they be needed at Super Bowl XLVIII. QNA’s robots were then positioned with their first responder operators in advantageous locations and awaited the call that, fortunately, never came.
This fleet of veteran robots has earned its stripes in America and abroad. They were on the scene at the World Trade Center on 9/11 when QNA personnel and TALON robots supported search missions for seven weeks, 24/7; QNA personnel, Dragon Runner 20s, TALONs and Spartacus robots were sent to Fukushima in March 2011 to assist with disaster relief efforts; and most recently, QNA robots were used in Boston, Cambridge and Watertown after the marathon bombing in April 2013. As the search ensued for the bombers, QNA maintained a ready crew of deployable robot experts in Waltham in case additional robots and operators were needed to assist in hunting for the bombers and their explosive devices.