The Multi-functional, Agile, Remote-Controlled Robot IV, or MARCbot IV, is a portable and easy to use, light-weight – for a robot – (200lbs), reconnaissance robot that can spot explosive devices, enemy positions and danger areas, which function via a series of cameras and a controller similar to that of a Playstation.

Robots like the MARCbot can be modified with attachments to detect landmines, and pressure plates, or dig to uncover buried explosives. In the field, almost anything that can be found on the ground can be used on a robot – including weapons.

When first produced the MARCbot was sold to the Department of Defense for around $100,000, but a surplus has now lowered costs, around $10,000 per MARCbot. The price-cut has allowed for further robot usage and keeps Law Enforcement, Fire Departments, and the Military safe. The MARCbot is typically used to look around corners, inspect possible explosive devices, check buildings for boobytraps, threats and perform a host of other short-range reconnaissance functions, as well as threat mitigation.


Law Enforcement and Fire Departments have been able to acquire equipment like the MARCbot through the Defense Department’s 1033 surplus equipment program. A justified and real-world usage of the 1033 program . . . As I’m not in favor of the police having or using combat vehicles such as MRAP(s) and tactical Armored Personnel Carriers (APC) – amongst a host of other unnecessary for Law Enforcement, military grade hardware.

The justified robotic action is no different from using a police sniper to mitigate a threat. Yet, the Dallas Police Department did not have a clear line-of-sight to snipe/stop the suspect and the MARCbot tactic was deployed.

Complaints by the layman, that the use of explosive devices in this manner, can destroy property and cause fires are unfounded. Maybe if you let Mall Cop, Paul Bart, prepare the charges.

Albeit, with nearly fifteen years of professional explosives and demolitions experience – I can assure you that those preparing the charges know what they’re doing, and that is using precise demolitions calculations to account for the eventualities of the charge that they’ve chosen to use. Demolitions can be used to knock your door open, cut a steel beam, remove a tree stump, fall a bridge, or obliterate. The art and science of demolitions is a precision skill. It is only unfortunate that terrorists have co-opted a beautiful and masterful form of physics and transformed into a fear factor for the unlearnt.