“Purple Gear Awards Program” Honours ICOR Technology Robots Damaged in the Line of Duty
It was near a busy train station in Elizabeth, New Jersey on September 19, 2016.
During a render safe, one of those bombs exploded.
The first robot suffered damage. The other robot was inoperable
Still, there was good news: zero human injuries were reported.
It is stories like this that serve as a continuous reminder of the importance of technology: specifically, its ability to safeguard EOD, SWAT, First Responders, and the public in the face of inherent, life-threatening danger.
Presenting the Purple Gear Awards Program
ICOR Technology recently launched the Purple Gear Award program. This is to honor the contributions of law enforcement professionals and their robots in extremely high-risk situations.
The concept is similar to the Purple Heart award bestowed upon police and military. The difference is that the Purple Gear award recognizes and decorates ICOR CALIBER® robots damaged by hostile action while in the line of duty.
The inspiration behind the Purple Gear program occurred in Florida in 2017. During a routine customer visit with the Division of Investigative & Forensic Services-Bureau of Fire, Arson, & Explosives Investigations, an ICOR representative noticed someone had affixed a Purple Heart sticker to a veteran MK3 CALIBER® robot.
According to Major Brandon Ball, a bomb technician who operated the robot, the MK3 was more than deserving of such a distinction.
“The first injury to our robot was during a reconnaissance mission, where a Polk County deputy was shot,” says Major Ball. “The bad guy shot our machine as well—but she stayed in service and the bad guy gave up. She has been shot a total of seven times in three different incidents in support of SWAT teams.”
Purple Gear Award Honorees
Since the program’s inception, ICOR Technology has awarded many of its customers’ robots with Purple Gears for their contributions in high-risk, life-threatening situations.
Recipients to date have included:
• “Sir Robin” (ICOR MK3 CALIBER®) and “Patsy” (ICOR Mini-CALIBER®): both affectionately named and used by the New Brunswick RCMP, the former was damaged by fragmentation from a pipe bomb during a render safe procedure, while the second was damaged while locating an armed and barricaded suspect inside of a residence.
• An ICOR robot deployed by the Saskatoon police force, which suffered major damage from a sledgehammer in the unit’s attempts to communicate with a person barricaded inside their home.
Other recipients have included (but are not limited to):
• Brevard County Sheriff’s Office (FL)
• Division of Investigative & Forensic Services. (FL)
• Douglas County Sheriff Office (GA)
• El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office (CA)
• Fort Smith Police Department (AR)
• Frisco Police Department (TX)
• Ithaca Police Department (NY)
• Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office (FL)
• Kenner Police Department (LA)
• Lewisville Police Department (TX)
• Michigan State Police (MI)
• New Jersey State Police (NJ)
• Ohio State Highway Patrol (OH)
• RCMP – H Division
• RCMP – J Division (NB)
• Royal Newfoundland Constabulary (NL)
• San Antonio Police Department (TX)
• Saskatoon Police Service (SK)
• Wilmington Police Department (DE)
Receive a Purple Gear Award
Do you have an ICOR CALIBER® robot that suffered damage in the line of duty?
To be eligible for a Purple Gear Award, your ICOR CALIBER® robot must have suffered damage due to hostile action on a mission (e.g., gunshots, explosions, blunt objects, etc.).
If so, ICOR wants to recognize your robot and your team with a Purple Gear.