Our local robot needs an upgrade.

McLennan County Commissioners recently authorized a request from the sheriff's office to apply for a grant that would allow the Bomb Squad to upgrade its robot.

The Homeland Security Grant Program money would enhance the current bomb squad's capabilities and the overall ability of the technicians to respond to suspected improvised explosive devices, according to the court.

"The (Heart of Texas Council of Governments) region faces terrorist threats, risk of mass violence incidents, and a multitude of threats and hazards that can cause the loss of life and property and create further economic instability," the sheriff's office application states.

County Judge Scott Felton said the bomb squad has an Andros F6A medium-size robot, used to perform IED disruption, detection and inspection. The robot was purchased in 2009, and technology has advanced, Felton said.

The almost $57,000 grant would allow the squad to access some of the most recent technology in bomb squad robots without having to purchase a new one, according to the grant.

Meanwhile, here's a photo of the robot reaching for a suspicious package on top of a mailbox in 2011, and here's a more up-close view.

Cassie L. Smith has covered county government for the Tribune-Herald since June 2014. She previously worked as a reporter for the Beaumont Enterprise and The Eagle in Bryan-College Station. Smith graduated from the University of Texas at Arlington.