The order has come to iRobot Corp from the U.S. Army Program Executive Office for Simulation, Training, and Instrumentation (PEO STRI). It’s the first purchase of iRobot’s advanced PackBot 510 series under an existing $200 million Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract.
The company says that PackBot 510 series provides the Army with advanced robotic capabilities that surpass those of the battle-tested PackBot 500.
Also, a London-based defence and security technology company QinetiQ has supplied its TALON family of robots. A unit of 2,500 robots are positioned in Iraq and Afghanistan to detect and clear mines, unexploded ordnance, and dangerous improvised explosive devices (IEDs) from a safe distance.
QinetiQ says that detection and clearance of mines is important in Afghanistan, where large numbers of landmines litter the countryside as a result of almost continuous fighting since the late 1970s injuring 200,000 people, according to United Nations estimates.
For iRobot, this is the sixth order under the IDIQ contract. The current total contract value now stands at approximately $22 million. This order includes the delivery of 125 PackBot 510 with EOD Kit robots.
The PackBot 510 with EOD Kit has advanced vision and surveillance capabilities. It adapts to different Improvised Explosive Device (IED) missions including check points, inspections, and route clearance.
The robot provides soldiers with a tool to identify and dispose of IEDs, roadside bombs, and other unexploded ordnance while keeping them at safe distances. Additionally, the PackBot 510 provides improved 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.”
iRobot has delivered more than 2,400 PackBot robots that make a difference every day by conducting dangerous missions that keep warfighters out of harm’s way, says the company.