3D printed Sentinel robot could increase traffic safety for police officers

Two students at Duke University have designed a 3D printed robot that could help police officers carry out routine traffic stops. A long way from RoboCop, “Sentinel,” as the robot has been named, was created by Chris Reyes and Vaibhav Tadepalli in response to several violent altercations between police and motorists.

“In July last year, there were two specific instances that really pushed us to develop this device,” said Tadepalli. “On July 6, [motorist] Philando Castile was shot [by police] during a traffic stop in front of his girlfriend and four-year-old daughter. Then, two days later, officer Michael Flamion was shot as he approached a vehicle during another traffic stop.”

The two students agreed that there must be a solution to what is becoming an ongoing problem. There needs to be a safer alternative that allows everyone to walk away alive, Tadepalli said.

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