UAS & Robotics

Northrop unveils next-generation IED-fighting robot

Northrop Remotec Andros FX robot

The Andros FX has greater speed and mobility, along with a more dexterous arm.

Northrop Grumman and its subsidiary Remotec are unveiling the next generation of the Andros ground robot, earlier versions of which the U.S. military has used for bomb disposal and to help combat improvised explosive devices.

The new version, Andros FX, is designed to counter vehicle-borne IEDs as well as other threats. It features a new track-pod system for getting around and a new, more dexterous arm design with greater lift capacity, according to a Northrop announcement.

The robot, currently is on display at the DSEI exhibition in London, also is faster and more maneuverable than previous versions. It features upgraded electronics and has a 3D touchscreen interface for operator control, the company said. Its operating system is designed to interact smoothly with intelligent payloads such as chemical and radiation sensors.

"The feedback we have received from [Explosive Ordnance Disposal] teams has indicated what they need most are more capabilities to counter vehicle-borne IEDs," said Walt Werner, director, Northrop Grumman Remotec. "Andros FX has been designed from the ground up, to meet these requirements and provides the most advanced technology while at the same time making the system easier to use and maintain, and keeping danger at a distance."

The military has made extensive use of ground robots as a way to counter explosive devices. In 2003, Remotec’s Mini Andros was one of five robotic platforms DOD adopted, and since then the services, such as the Navy and Air Force, have employed various versions of Andros.

Northrop Grumman Remotec said it will announce pricing for Andros FX in December and begin taking orders in April 2016.

About the Author

Kevin McCaney is a former editor of Defense Systems and GCN.

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