Robots can save lives in a variety of different situations, even when someone is in the middle of a standoff with the police and threatening to set fire to a convenience store. Police in Novato, California was involved in one such standoff over the weekend which ended peacefully when they used a robot to deliver a vape pen to the 40-year-old man threatening to set the store on fire.
The standoff continued for around six hours and led to the closure of a McDonald’s and a Safeway store as the police feared the suspect might be armed. Some footage has emerged which shows a robot being used to hand the man a smartphone for communicating with law enforcement.
The assistant manager at the Circle K convenience store told local news outlets that the suspect poured gas all over the store after a payment dispute over pumps. He tried to flee the store in his pickup but the police caught up with him at the Safeway location.
The robot was used to deliver a smartphone for negotiations. The suspect initially demanded a cigarette which was denied due to the potential fire threat. Police sent him a vape pen instead before he was ultimately arrested and charged with attempted arson and vandalism.