Colombo, Nov 2 (IANS): Sri Lanka’s Police Narcotics Bureau (PNB) has deployed two robots to detect narcotics and explosives at the Bandaranayake International Airport (BIA) here, a media report said on Saturday.
The deployment on Friday has been deemed to be the first of its kind in Sri Lanka, the Daily Financial Times said in the report.
The two autonomous robots, which can detect trace evidence of narcotic and explosive substances, were deployed at the departure and arrival lounge of the airport.
Both systems had been gifted to the police by the Chinese government to the Sri Lanka Police Department.
China also provided handheld narcotics and explosives detectors, vehicle and other security equipment after the April 21 Easter Sunday suicide bombings this year which claimed over 250 lives.
According to a police spokesman, each robot is valued at 80 million Sri Lankan rupees ($441,712) and a team of police and Special Task Force (STF) officers had undergone training conducted by Chinese experts in Colombo recently.
Each robot can autonomously patrol a designated area once programmed, and detect minute traces of narcotics by using an advanced scanning array system, a PNB source told the Daily Financial Times.
The robot has a built-in scanner that allows the police officer to place swaps or special strips used to test luggage for the presence of narcotics or explosives and get results on to a personal digital device.
The police has planned to field more high-tech equipment to combat drug trafficking in the near future.