Tri-C students build robot to assist Cleveland police during RNC

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CLEVELAND - When the Republican National Convention gets underway police in Cleveland will have a brand new tool available for them to use.

That tool is a robot created and built by students at Cuyahoga Community College with input from members of the Cleveland Police Department's bomb squad.

The robot is called 'The Griffin.'

It is described as a 'spybot' or a "scout bot" because it can go into tight places and remotely send back pictures from a rotating video camera.

Students who are on the team that built it say it can survey a potential threat faster and easier than the police department's larger bomb squad robot and can be deployed much faster.

"The big bomb squad, what they have got right now, it's really slow and it's really big and it takes them like 20 minutes to get it out of their truck. This one you can just pull it out, put it down and drive away," said Mark Goeser.

In a demonstration for Fox 8 on Friday 'The Griffin' was able to climb over and around obstacles, maneuver underneath a small pickup truck, and go into a dark closet, sending pictures to a screen as far as 400-feet away.

"They can go ahead and like, scope the scene before they send in the actual robot so they can get it ready for the specific things that they need. And with the camera they can see what specific things they need and what they need to do," said Domonique Dumas.

The team that created the robot also recently won the first ever Robotics World Championship in St. Louis, competing with a different robot against nearly 700 other teams from around the world.

'The Griffin' was named in memory of a team member who died before the competition.

Team members say having input from actual bomb squad members on what they wanted helped put the finishing touches on the new robot.

"I think it has been really cool to talk to an officer and them be older and wiser and say 'that thing spins?' and they are really intrigued by it and really impressed, like 'let's see if it can do this or do that,'" said Dumas.

"It feels great to like, see something that you create actually be able to move and do its function like it's supposed to and it makes you very proud that you were a part of this," said Mark Hariston.

"Potentially, I see the greatest purpose for this robot is that it can help protect people. Also with so much going on in this world it can help protect our community, because it is going to be used for the RNC" said Iris Harris.