CLINTON (WATE) – Robots made in East Tennessee helped Colorado investigators in the hours after the movie theater massacre.
Authorities say James Holmes, 24, shot and killed 12 people and injured 59 others on Friday during a midnight showing of the new Batman movie at an Aurora theater.
Later, special robots from Remotec, based in Clinton, helped disable the booby traps in Holmes's apartment.
The F6B robots are like large, high tech remote-controlled cars. They're hooked up with five cameras and have arms with a wide range of motion.
The device has been purchased by bomb squads around the country and allows police to send a robot instead of a human into a dangerous situation.
The robot is manned by a human with a controller that has an LCD screen.
People who guide the robots feel like they are where the robot is. They can speak, see and hear what's going on at the location where the robots are deployed.
"They deployed our F6B to the apartment where it was able to go up the stairs, found the door open, was able to go inside the apartment, and use a water blast to destroy a device that triggered a bunch of grenades and explosives attached to it," Remotec President Mike Knopp explained about the role their robots played in Colorado.
The Colorado robot also helped check out Holmes's car, as well as a suspicious package associated with the investigation.
Hundred of these robots are being used by the military. They are sent to the Middle East to help soldiers stay safe.
Nationally they are often used in hostage situations, where a negotiator usually communicates with the hostage-taker through a robot that is sent to the scene.