Army, Marines to test 'throwable' robots in Afghanistan

The Defense Department's office entrusted with furnishing U.S. ground troops with technologies to neutralize improvised explosive devices on the battlefield is in the process of responding to a joint urgent operational needs statement for an ultra-llght recon robot capable of supporting dismounted operations in Afghanistan, reports the Army News Service on Sept. 30.

Army and Marine Corps combatant commanders will soon receive an initial shipment of 4,000 small robots, some of which can be thrown, for example, through a second-story window to provide reconnaissance on a potentially hazardous combat situation.

In addition, the Joint IED Defeat Organization has chosen three lightweight "throwable" robots to run through a series of combat tests in Afghanistan before possible production. Those systems are iRobot's 110 FirstLook robot, MacroUSA's Armadillo V2 Micro Unmanned Ground Vehicle and QinetiQ North America's Dragon Runner, the story said.

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