Robots will help Army with bomb missions

The Army awarded iRobot Corp. a $5.5 million contract to provide 72 robots troops can use to investigate suspicious objects and threats from a safe distance.

The Army Program Executive Office for Simulation, Training and Instrumentation awarded the contract. It is the eighth order under the $286 million xBot contract.

It calls for the delivery of 72 iRobot PackBot 510 with FasTac Kit robots, spare parts and repairs.

The robots provide a tool for troops who are not trained in explosive ordnance disposal to investigate suspicious objects and potential threats while keeping them at safe distances. The robot can adapt to the constantly changing requirements of roadside bomb identification and other hazardous missions.

“As we have seen on a daily basis with our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, robots are taking a more active role in military operations,” said Joe Dyer, president of iRobot’s Government and Industrial Robots Division, in a statement.

iRobot, of Bedford, Mass., has delivered more than 2,200 PackBot robots to the military.

About the Author

Doug Beizer is a staff writer for Federal Computer Week.

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