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Brazil buys robots for World Cup, Olympic security

Posted By Kristen Butler, UPI.com   |   May 24, 2013 at 12:04 PM   |   Comments

May 24 (UPI) -- Brazil will host both Pope Francis and the FIFA World Cup in 2014, and the 2016 Olympic Games will be held in Rio de Janeiro, leading the government to invest in additional security.

The Brazilian government contracted iRobot to provide military iRobot 510 PackBot robots. For $7.2 million, Brazil will get about 30 PackBot 510 units, which usually cost about $100,000 to $200,000 each, along with services, spares, and associated equipment.

Over 5,000 camera-equipped, remote-controlled 510 PackBots have been deployed to Afghanistan, Iraq and Japan's Fukushima nuclear power plant.

The 510 PackBots will be used during construction of the Olympic stadia to clear routes, and to ensure no explosives are planted ahead of the games.

The PackBot base model is weatherproof and can take a six-foot drop, even righting itself if it lands upside-down. It can be equipped with additional gadgets including high-definition cameras and bomb-defusing devices, and any number of sensors for detecting explosives or testing air samples.

Once the events are underway, the robots will presumably aid police and soldiers deployed to maintain security. Brazilian police will be equipped with facial-recognition camera glasses that can reportedly capture 400 facial images per second, according to CNET.

The country is reportedly spending $900 million on drones, helicopters and surveillance equipment ahead of the World Cup in an effort to make it "one of the most protected sports events in history."

© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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