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Photo/Gene Wisenand

Day two at SHOT Show: From AI-driven robots for live-fire training to intelligent noise-cancellation tech

Let’s review some of the new products transforming police firearms training and improving officer safety

Day two of my 2024 SHOT Show experience started in one of my happy places: the range.

Marathon Targets

A Marathon Targets representative picked me up and drove me out to the expansive Clark County Shooting Complex. This is a great facility that has hosted large events and training classes in the past.

Marathon Targets had a range to demonstrate its autonomous robots for live fire training. As a firearm instructor, I recognize we have a fundamental training gap in our training programs. The problem is the only time we do live fire training with realistic moving targets is during calls for service. This really isn’t the best time or place to learn new skills, so Marathon Targets has eliminated this fatal training gap with AI-driven, armored, autonomous robotic humanoids that look, move and even behave like people.

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Photo/Todd Fletcher

How do they behave like real people? Well, Marathon’s AI-driven robots drive autonomously across the entire range, are always aware of their surroundings, and communicate with each other to synthesize a convincing and challenging tactical environment. Robots never leave their movement area, so they won’t draw fire outside the mapped safe range zone. They utilize precision autonomous navigation and collision avoidance.

The Marathon Targets robots even flinch and groan when wounded, and shriek and fall when “killed.” Separate hit zones can even simulate adversaries with body armor, and instructors can program the robots to require multiple accurate hits in “fatal” target zones before activating the target to shriek and fall. This allows live fire training to be transformed from a static “marksmanship exercise” to a “decision-making exercise” under the stress and chaos of a firefight.

Check out the Marathon autonomous robot target system at


After returning to the exposition halls, I wanted to check out the new radio microphone system from PRYME, which I’d heard was going to improve officer communication and safety. This is an important topic for me because my former department struggled for several years after doing a radio “upgrade” that didn’t improve communication or officer safety. As a result, any product that comes on the market that can deliver improved communication gets my attention.

PRYME unveiled its groundbreaking innovation called the NoiseMaster Advanced Intelligent Active Noise Cancellation technology for portable two-way radios. NoiseMaster represents a significant leap forward in audio communications, delivering unparalleled clarity amid high-noise environments. This revolutionary technology utilizes an AI chip with deep learning capabilities. The AI chip hears everything in the operating environment and dynamically adjusts in to block background sounds. The system filters and eliminates ambient and background noise while focusing on and enhancing the human voice to allow clear communications.

PRYME is offering two new products in their NoiseMaster collection: a lapel microphone as well as an in-ear remote speaker microphone. Both products are equipped with a highly sensitivity microphone to capture the user’s voice during calls. Most importantly, they employ the cutting-edge Intelligent Active Noise Cancellation technology to process audio and effectively remove unwanted background sounds that can interfere with critical communication between officers and with dispatchers.

It would be worth your time to check out the new PRYME technology at


There’s no one reading this article that hasn’t heard about Trijicon and their RMR red dot optic. Most of you have even heard about their newest offerings – the RMR HD and the RCR. This was my first opportunity to get my hands on these new optics and see if they are really an improvement over the original RMR. I’ll keep it short; they are definitely better.

The new RMR HD builds on the foundation of the original RMR and makes it better. The single biggest complaint most of us had about the RMR is that to change the battery, it had to be removed from the handgun. The RMR HD solves that problem and offers other improvements we didn’t even know we needed. The RMR HD offers multiple reticle options that go far beyond the multiple reticle options offered by other optic companies. The RMR HD also features larger, more tactile buttons that are easier to use and an expanded window that offers a better field of view.

There has been a growing demand for Trijicon to offer a closed emitter red dot optic for those who work in more demanding environments. The dirt, mud, snow and sleet in those conditions make an enclosed emitter red dot a good choice. For those officers, Trijicon has brought us the RCR. Ultimately, the RCR is the RMR HD but in an even more rugged and durable closed emitter optic. The Trijicon RCR includes an expanded field of view compared to past RMR optics and maintains the same RMR footprint. This has become one of the industry standards, so maintaining the same footprint allows officers to change to the RCR without having to change mounting plates or have a slide milled for a different pattern.

Find out more about the products Trijicon offers at


I’ve played with the older MantisX shooting performance system and thought it was useful, but the new Mantis X10 is the next evolution of the breakthrough MantisX. The X10 mounts to standard slotted accessory rails and is 40% smaller, 50% lighter, and has over three times the battery life of the previous system.

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Photo/Gene Wisenand

The older systems would help you analyze your trigger press, grip and accuracy providing coaching feedback to improve performance. The X10 takes this to the next level by providing more detailed recoil analysis, holster draw analysis and additional software support for all shooting sports (pistol, rifle, shotgun, archery). The Mantix X10 collects thousands of data points per second to analyze your shooting in real-time. The X10 works with dry fire, live fire, airsoft/CO2, and simulated firearm systems.


Photo/Gene Wisenand

In addition to the Mantis X10, I was able to meet with a representative from Mantis X at the 2024 SHOT Show Industry Range Day where I spent a fair amount of time working with their BlackbeardX system. The BlackbeardX combines the two powerful training platforms - the MantisX and the Mantis Blackbeard - but the BlackbeardX system unleashes a completely new capability. It has significantly more in-depth dynamic shooting analysis.

Video by Gene Wisenand

BlackbeardX goes far beyond a shot timer. It includes motion-based analysis of your efficiency in a high-speed, multi-target engagement. It analyzes your economy of motion across multiple dimensions, giving you real-time feedback on where and how you can improve your dynamic shooting. The BlackbeardX system is currently available for any AR-15 and Sig Sauer MCX platform but more models coming soon.

There’s a lot more information about how the Mantis systems can help build better shooters at

Todd Fletcher is the owner and lead instructor for Combative Firearms Training, LLC providing training for law enforcement firearms instructors from coast to coast. He has over 25 years of training experience as a firearms and defensive tactics instructor. He retired after more than 25 years as a full-time police officer and over 31 years of law enforcement experience.

Todd is a member of the International Defensive Pistol Association (IDPA) and the United States Practical Shooting Association (USPSA). He is a member of the International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association (ILEETA), and was selected as the 2022 ILEETA Trainer-of-the-Year. He is also a member of the International Association of Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors (IALEFI) and won the 2023 IALEFI Top Gun Award. He can be reached at