Arson Bomb Squad Robot

While law enforcement officers are known for running towards the danger rather than away from it, sometimes, when explosives are suspected, it’s best to have the robot go first.

That’s why, in 2019, when the Seattle Police Department Arson Bomb Squad (ABS) approached the Seattle Police Foundation about the need for a new explosives detection robot, we were eager to help.

The SPD ABS is a dedicated, full-time, on-call squad of responders, which handles approximately 200 “E incidents” (chemical, biological, or explosive incidents) every year. The ABS is deployed in response to suspected and known explosive and chemical threats throughout the region.

As the only full-time bomb squad in the state of Washington, it is crucial that the squad stay equipped with the most advanced tools to help keep our communities safe. Seattle is one of the largest cities on the west coast, with a number of high-profile potential targets, making the threat of chemical and biological incidents very real. SPD’s legacy ABS robot is over 13 years old, with outdated technology that lacks many of the capabilities needed to respond to dynamic, potentially volatile situations.

To remain an effective Type 1 bomb squad, poised to protect not only Seattle but all of our regional partners, ABS required an explosives detection robot that rose to the challenge. The squad identified the Telemax HYBRID as best suited to its needs, known for its strength, versatility, and ease of operations.

With our mission clearly defined, we went to work. The cost of the robot was roughly $350,000, which was raised through a federal grant and a $70,000 match from our generous donors. Huge thanks to everyone who supported this important effort.    

The Telemax HYBRID robot arrived in Seattle in 2021 and is the utmost in precision, featuring state-of-the-art technology. It is a master at safely navigating unstructured and hazardous environments, can lift up to 82 pounds, has a top speed of just over 6 miles-per-hour, and can even overcome stairs and slopes.

Thank you to all of our donors for helping us accomplish our mission and ensuring the safety of our friends, neighbors, residents, and guests!