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York Regional Police updating its explosive disposal robot

The current outdated robot was deployed 13 times in 2022 and 2023, according to York Regional Police
The York Regional Police Service Board approved the purchase of a Caliber MK4 explosive disposal robotic from ICOR Technology Inc.

The York Regional Police Service Board has approved the purchase of a more current explosive disposal robot.

York Regional Police will be buying a $423,705 contract for the Caliber MK4 explosive disposal robotic to replace the current outdated model.

The emergency response unit currently utilizes a Telerob tEODor as its large explosive disposal robotic. 

“It is now 14 years old, outdated, extremely expensive to repair, and past its operational life expectancy,” said Deputy Chief Kevin McCloskey.

In 2022 and 2023, the current large explosive disposal robot used by York Regional Police was deployed 13 times by the emergency response unit.

York Regional Police board chair Wayne Emmerson was surprised to hear the large robot had to be deployed that many times over the last two years, but said that it just goes to show how important a piece of equipment like this is for police services.

Large explosive disposal robotics provide explosive disposal technicians enhanced capabilities, according to the report. 

Larger models like this have the ability to reach heights and distance due to having a longer robotic arm, the ability to deliver large counter charge payloads for large explosives, and the ability to pull and lift significant weight (injured officer, push a vehicle, large item) due to the robot’s overall size and weight, according to a report about the purchase.

The robot comes from the company ICOR Technology Inc. and it’s expected the delivery of it will take 32 to 36 weeks with the direct purchase being due to familiarity.

McCloskey said that there are other companies out there that manufacture explosive device robots, but York Regional Police has opted for direct purchase because the other two robots utilized by York Regional Police come from the same manufacturer. 

“Compatibility and interoperability are the two keys,” he said. “The other key ingredients are training and serviceability. Both at OPC (Ontario Police College) and CPC (Canadian Police College), where our officers would receive their training, this is the brand of robot that they actually use to train and teach on.”

York Regional Police will hang onto the outdated robot because it doesn’t have any realizable market value, said McCloskey.

“We’ll keep it as a spare should something happen to the new one,” he said.

Funding for the purchase of a large explosive disposal robot, in the amount of $425,000, was included in the approved 2024 capital budget.