The GuardBot – a rolling, rubber sphere with surveillance cameras attached like small, domed ears – was first meant to explore Mars. Now, it’s showing off its ability to locate undocumented people on the blue carpet at events such as the Border Security Expo, the United States’ premier border policing conference.
At the primary debate this month, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump declared that he would build a wall on the Mexico-US border. However, Homeland Security has already built 700 miles of walls and barriers along the 2,000-mile US-Mexico border over the past couple of decades. Now, the nation’s boundary-builders have gone beyond walls even to the space-age high tech, like the GuardBot. Indeed, the company’s junior engineer Philippe Vibien told Cronkite News that he envisioned 20 or 30 of these rolling balls working in a swarm around the desert borderlands.
In this tech-climate, where US Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the largest federal US law enforcement agency and the burgeoning security industry get in bed with each other, their automated border patrol offspring are surely around the corner. These companies are feeding an increasingly privatized market in an “unprecedented boom period.”
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