Narc robot concept helps detect contraband in public spaces

One of my family’s favorite things to see at places like malls and airports are the drug sniffing dogs. We always joke about wanting to pet them, although of course we’re not supposed to. But there are times when I pity them since they have to work hard and it can even be dangerous for them. There are of course other technologies and devices that can be developed so the load of detecting contraband does not fall solely on them or on the staff that are monitoring the security check machines in the terminals.

Designer: Junwoo Lim

This concept for a robot that can serve as a contraband detection tool can serve both cargo terminals and passenger terminals. Narc will be able to help machines, dogs, and humans detect contraband like explosives, drugs, and other dangerous materials that are not supposed to be in public places like airports and terminals. You probably didn’t like being called a narc (if ever you were called one) during your school days but this device, which looks like a robot with four legs, gets the job done.

For the cargo terminals, Narc can serve as the detector for small packages in the conveyer belt so the first pass will not need human intervention. It has a small x-ray button at the bottom and 90 degree rotatable legs and a movable body that can go up to 500m up and down. It can scan the small cargo by moving around the cargo rails so humans can just focus on monitoring larger cargo. For passenger terminals, the Narc can move around, like those robots going around malls asking if you need help. But this time, they really act as a “narc”, scanning random people and if they detect contraband, they will alert security staff.


Once they spot someone “suspicious”, the staff can use the portable ion scanner to detect if the person really is carrying contraband. A sample can even be placed in the middle of the suction port if it needs further checking. There may be some privacy issues involved here but that’s probably a problem that can be resolved or fixed by the airport or terminal if ever this concept gets made into an actual product.