Technology warfare experts said the use of a robot to kill someone had major technological and legal implications for 21st century policing.
The strategy opens a new chapter in the escalating use of remote and semi-autonomous devices to fight crime and protect lives.
As robots have become an integral part of emergency situation response - think mine collapses, oil spills, natural disaster relief - Calo, the researcher, says he wasn't surprised to hear of a tactical robot featuring in the Dallas incident.
According to a 2015 study by Bard College's Center for the Study of the Drone, the Dallas County Sheriff's Department bought one EOD robot in 2014 for $10,000. Northrop Grumman confirmed to Vice past year that more than 1,100 of its Remotec robots are distributed across the country, used in more than 90 percent of police bomb squads.
"We are united in grief and sympathy for the victims in the Dallas community, particularly the Dallas Police Department, Dallas Area Rapid Transit Police, and their families". Dover's profile image was changed to a Dallas police badge with a mourning band over it. Newark police have a mourning band over its department patch.
Remotec's website includes product descriptions of a handful of its unmanned vehicles, such as the F6B, described as the "most versatile, heavy-duty robot on the market" and the Wolverine, a "workhorse robot that won't quit until you do".
The Department, along with our City Administration and City Council, express our honest respect and admiration for the members of the Dallas Police Department, the Dallas Area Rapid Transit Police Department, and the host of other agencies that responded to this senseless act of violence. Their main goal is to detect and defuse bombs to save lives. That program distributes excess military equipment to police departments and other agencies across the country.
Robotics expert Peter W. Singer, of the New America Foundation, said the killing marked the first instance he's aware of in which police have used a robot to lethal effect.
Many models used by police are about the size of a backpack.
"You can't ignore that it got a little out of hand, that there were some overreaches by smaller police departments", said Ronal Serpas, former police chief in New Orleans, Louisiana and Nashville, Tennessee.
Police killed the suspect, Micah Xavier Johnson, using a robot-delivered bomb after they say negotiations with him failed.
Five days before the shooting he posted a rant against white people on a black nationalist Facebook group called Black Panther Party Mississippi, denouncing the lynching and brutalising of black people.
"I think everybody will have a heightened alert", he said.