There is currently no means to ensure the safety of an officer and a motorist during a traffic stop. This is a problem that was made painfully clear through the shootings of Philando Castile and Michael Flamion this past summer.
What Motivated them?
Unfortunately, these shootings are only the tip of an iceberg. According to the FBI, between 2000 and 2012, 127 police officers have been killed and 72,000 have been assaulted during traffic stops, while more than 100 motorists were killed during traffic stops in 2015 alone (FBI, Lowery). Statistics like these help reinforce exactly the reason behind routine traffic stops being stressful and sometimes deadly situations for motorists and law enforcement officers alike. To successfully protect individuals on both sides of a traffic stop would be a step towards rebuilding trust between police officers and the communities they serve while also addressing a very real and dangerous problem.
About Trapezium Technologies
Trapezium Technologies L.L.C. is a technology company that is founded on the goal of making traffic stops safer and less stressful environments while providing objective methods of threat assessment for law enforcement personnel. Using robotics and the latest in sensor technology coupled with additive manufacturing, we are producing a very affordable alternative to the large, heavy and expensive police robotic systems that currently dominate the market.
The Sentinel Robotic System
The Sentinel Robotic System is a semi-autonomous telepresence robotic system that can be deployed to aid an officer in conducting a traffic stop. It is deployed at the push of a button from the police vehicle and is capable of driving itself to the driver’s side window of the stopped vehicle. From here it raises up a video screen, camera and sensor array and initiates a two-way video conference between the stopped motorist and the officer in the patrol car. From here the officer can communicate safely and clearly with the individual in the stopped vehicle.
A license scanner attached to the screen of the robot allows the driver to scan their license and have it automatically populate an incident report on the police officer’s computer. Sensors attached to the screen allow for detection of alcohol and marijuana to the same level that could be detected by an officer. The ticket can even be issued digitally and mailed to the driver’s address which would allow the entire encounter to be conducted at a safe distance for both the police offer and the driver.
The team at Trapezium began developing this project hoping that their efforts might be able to save a life. If they are able to prevent even a single violent encounter from occurring then they will feel that the Sentinel has served its purpose.
They have built several prototypes and with each successive iteration have gotten closer to a product that could be deployed in the real world. But they need your help. When people at Trapezium started this project, they pooled together their personal funds to build the first prototype. They have been lucky enough to find a small sponsor who shared their vision and were awarded a small grant to help them continue their work. But with this prototype, they have reached the limits of what they can personally fund. In order to build the Sentinel that can be deployed to help save lives, they need to raise additional capital.
The $7,500 that they are raising will go directly towards building and testing a fully functional prototype with all the features they need to have the impact they would like to create. If you believe in this as much as they do, they would be really glad to have you along for the ride. You can join them on Indiegogo.