Army UGV order marks first buy of iRobot PackBot 510 unmanned ground vehicles

BEDFORD, Mass., 8 May 2009. Officials of the U.S. Army Program Executive Office for Simulation, Training, and Instrumentation (PEO STRI) in Orlando, Fla. needed unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs) for explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) applications. They found their solution in the PackBot 510 UGV with EOD kits from iRobot Corp. in Bedford, Mass.

This order marks the first purchase of iRobot's PackBot 510 series under an existing $200 million contract. The PackBot 510 series provides the Army with advanced robotic capabilities that surpass those of the battle-tested PackBot 500. This order is worth $16.8 million, and includes delivery of 125 PackBot 510 UGVs with EOD Kit robots.

Engineers at iRobot are providing the small unmanned ground vehicle (SUGV) for the Army's Future Combat Systems (FCS) program. This FCS UGV, which weighs about 30 pounds, will provide infantry soldiers with capabilities such as surveillance and reconnaissance, as well as mine clearance.

The PackBot 510 with EOD Kit has advanced vision and surveillance capabilities, and adapts to different improvised explosive device (IED) missions including check points, inspections, and route clearance.

The robot helps soldiers identify and dispose of IEDs, roadside bombs, and other unexploded ordnance while keeping them at safe distances. Additionally, the PackBot 510 provides lift and manipulation capabilities, greater speed, military-standard batteries, a hardened laptop with game-style hand controller, and a variety of other upgrades that enhance its mission effectiveness.

"The PackBot 510 provides a new level of capability and modularity in support of the warfighter," said Joe Dyer, president of iRobot Government and Industrial Robots. "These robots are battle-tested and are saving lives by giving our troops separation from many of the dangers found on the battlefield. The PackBot 510 builds on the tradition of the PackBot 500."

For more information contact iRobot online at www.irobot.com.

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