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Binghamton University Students Design Robot for Tioga County Sheriff's Dept.

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BINGHAMTON, N.Y. -

A team of Binghamton University engineering students presented the Tioga County Sheriff's Department with a reconnaissance robot designed to help the SWAT team.

"It will be used in the buildings mostly, 99 percent of the time we'll need it when we have a case where we need to go into a building and look around without sending officers in" said Tioga County Sheriff Gary Howard. "This will be the first thing to go in. I think it's fantastic"

The robot is the result of their Watson Capstone Project, a collaboration between the Watson School of Engineering, engineering companies, and nonprofit organizations. Their partnership with the Tioga County Sheriff's Department began in the fall semester, when the team created the original design.

"When we were assigned, I was super excited because we got the chance to help people and lower the risk for officers in high risk situations," said senior Christopher Gale.

Throughout this semester, the team built and programmed the robot for their final presentation on Friday. 

"I really enjoyed this project and the opportunity to help people," said Gale. "It definitely makes me feel like I chose the right thing doing mechanical engineering

The students had certain requirements to meet, including meeting a $1000 budget, a fraction of what a commercial law enforcement robot would cost. 

"Robots for us in law enforcement start at $15,000 and go up," said Howard. "It’s unbelievable they kept it under 1000."

"It feels good to improve their odds of getting out of a situation alive," said Gale.