Navy asks iRobot to provide sensor and software upgrades for IED-hunting unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs)

BEDFORD, Mass., 22 July 2012. U.S. Navy leaders needed software upgrades and additional sensors packages for unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs) that Navy and U.S. Marine Corps bomb-disposal experts use to disarm improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and other unexploded ordnance. They found their solution from iRobot Corp. in Bedford, Mass.

Officials of the Naval Sea Systems Command in Washington awarded iRobot a $7.7 million contract last week for iRobot Aware 2 software upgrades and for advanced sensor suites for 248 fielded Man Transportable Robotic System (MTRS) MK 1 MOD 1 robots. Officials of iRobot say they expect to complete these deliveries by November.

The MTRS is a modified commercial, two-man portable system that has a UGV with manipulator arm and imaging sensors, as well as a control station. The MTRS program has two variants, which are based on the iRobot 510 PackBot and the Talon IV UGV from QinetiQ North America in Waltham, Mass.

For the current contract, iRobot will deliver UGV sensor suites including the iRobot Wide-Angle Robot Vehicle Vision System (iWARVVS) camera, thermal camera, and iRobot’s User Assist Package (UAP).

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The cameras provide situational awareness and imaging in low light. The iRobot UAP adds improvements to the operator control unit, GPS mapping and critical semi-autonomous features to 510 PackBot, including self-righting, retro-traverse, and heading hold to reduce workload for the operator.

iRobot has delivered more than 4,500 robots to military and civil defense forces worldwide. For more information contact iRobot online at www.irobot.com.

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