ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md., 15 Feb. 2012. U.S. Army officials needed micro unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs) to equip four-to-six-soldier fire teams with video reconnaissance and situational awareness during route- and compound-clearing operations. They found their solution from ReconRobotics Inc. in Edina, Minn.
The Army Contracting Command at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., awarded ReconRobotics a $14 million contract Monday to supply military micro robots for video reconnaissance missions. ReconRobotics offers the Recon Scout Throwbot, a 1.2-pound dumbbell-shaped rolling UGV that soldiers can throw into hazardous areas to gather video information.
The Recon Scout Throwbot and its derivatives can adjust themselves after they've been thrown into dangerous areas like roof tops, basements, and into the windows of suspicious buildings and relay video back to operators located at safe distances. The micro robots can take visible-light or infrared video for daylight or nighttime operations.
-- When real life user interfaces begin to emulate video games
-- High-value vetronics & robotics
-- Engineered by nature: UAV designs modeled after biological sources.
This is the third Pentagon contract to ReconRobotics in the past six months. Last October the company won a $4.8 million contract for 315 Recon Scout XT micro-robot kits and SearchStick devices that convert the Throwbot into a pole camera. In August 2011 the company announced a series of contracts by the U.S. Military for 385 Recon Scout XT micro-robot kits and SearchSticks.
Army soldiers also can use the ReconRobotics micro-robots for applications such as inspecting vehicle undercarriages; clearing rooms, buildings, roof tops and walled compounds; conducting quick reconnaissance of culverts, bunkers and caves; remotely observing an outdoor environment such as a pathway; and evaluating suspected improvised explosive devices (IEDs).
ReconRobotics officials say soldiers can throw the device through a window, over a wall, and down stairs, or drop it from an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) for taking video. Operators control the micro-robot with a hand-held operator control unit.
On the contract announced Monday, ReconRobotics will do the work in Edina, Minn., and should be finished by the end of May. For more information contact ReconRobotics online at www.recon-scout.com.