Drone program with City of Pensacola Police Department

Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward and IHMC are pleased to announce an innovative partnership between IHMC and the City of Pensacola Police Department in the development of a comprehensive police drone program.

The program will incorporate specialized drones in police operations such as search and rescue, disaster response, fugitive evasion, threat situations and monitoring outdoor events.

“This is a wonderful program that is going make Pensacola a safer community,” said Hayward. “And because we have the expertise of IHMC here in our community, we also are going to be in a leadership role in terms of the use of these specialized drones in fighting crime and in helping to make our community a safer place.”

While off-the-shelf drones are available to law-enforcement agencies, many are not appropriate for critical government services such as police operations. Most drones also are unable to handle missions that operate in or around buildings. 

IHMC has been developing technology for years that is well-suited to provide customized drones that can be effective tools for law enforcement needs. IHMC and the Pensacola Police Department also will work together to develop a training program on the use of these specialized drones.

Pensacola-based IHMC is a not-for-profit research institute that has grown into one of the nation’s premier research organizations with world-class scientists and engineers investigating a broad range of topics related to building technological systems aimed at amplifying and extending human cognition, perception, locomotion and resilience. The institute is part of the Florida University System and has a branch in Ocala.“Most people know about our work with robots and NASA and the various branches of the military” said Ken Ford, IHMC CEO. “But this is a great example of how the expertise of our scientists is being used right here in Pensacola for the benefit of our community.”