Rome, Stadium of the Baths of Caracalla.
Just outside there is a huge truck parked, open. We go up a handful of steps and find ourselves in front of a sort of shooting range.
No firearms though. Space is reserved for proof of TASER 10, the latest product from Axonan American company that deals with the design and production of devices dedicated to public safety.
TASER 10 is undoubtedly an unusual device: up to 10 usable darts and a maximum range of 13.7 meters. The goal is to have more time available to act and allow the de-escalation and resolution of critical situations.
If you’re thinking “I want one too”, we have to disappoint you: TASER 10 was created for the police forces, already accustomed to using these devices. In fact, to date there are as many as 6,000 TASERs supplied to the Carabinieri, Police and Guardia di Finanza teams throughout Italy; in large cities like Rome, which has at least 100 devices supplied, the use of the TASER has allowed the police to be more effective and resolve critical situations more quickly, without harm to either the police operators or the subjects involved.
But how do you learn to use the TASER?
Judging from the tests carried out at the range, the TASER is not a complex instrument in itself. However, it is necessary to practice to improve accuracy with which the darts are thrown. As? Axon also thought about this. In fact, they were present inside the truck two stations dedicated to virtual reality that allow you to simulate the use of TASER 10 and TASER 7.
For purely demonstration purposes the objective, in that specific context, was to give a good shake to a horde of zombies, keeping in mind that a single dart is not enough but two are needed to paralyze them.
Our test, thanks to years of video games, went better than expected but it certainly helped us understand that there is great correspondence between what happens in the virtual world and what happens in reality. Of course, the police forces do not train on zombies but with different environments and shapes, so as to better reflect real situations, with the declared objective of also improve critical thinking and de-escalation skills.
However, Axon’s technology does not stop here. There are bodycam, digital evidence management systemsie even a briefcase for interrogations which integrates two cameras, two microphones, a tablet and a battery sufficient to hold 6 to 8 hours of recording.
Axon Sky-Hero with its modules
The drones also caught our attention. Sky-Hero, for example, it is a small quadcopter designed for closed environments and able to withstand impacts. This means that if you lose control of the vehicle and it crashes on the floor, it survives without problems, thanks both to the material and to the rubberized feet which favor rebound in the event of a fall. It seems to be so robust that it is capable of break a window in case of emergency.
Sky-Hero, however, can do much more, thanks a modular system that allows you to attach different tools to this little drone. Today there is one who can illuminate the area and another that acts as speaker and which can also be used in a tactical way, perhaps asking him to reproduce shots to distract people and act on another front. The taser will also arrive in the future.
Then there are also the terrestrial drones, very compact to move easily in extreme situations, as well as a platform, Axon Air, which allows you to also connect and use third-party drones. The software is incredibly advanced and allows you not only to visualize in real time what the drone sees but also to see the trajectory and collect all kinds of data. And to see all this, all you need is a link.
In short, Axon is by no means limited to the most famous TASERs. The technology available for public safety is vast and constantly evolving. We just have to find out what the future holds for us.