iRobot has unveiled its latest military robot design - the 710 Warrior.
Based on the earlier 700 Warrior, the upgraded 710 model adds a host of new capabilities to the mix. Like its forebears, the iRobot 710 is a dedicated Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD), surveillance and reconnaissance platform, designed to enter hostile zones that, if explored by conventional troops, would pose a danger to human life.
The Warrior 710 weighs 157 kilograms in its heaviest configuration but can bear loads weighing up to 100 kilograms, or 68 kilograms if it's traversing uneven ground surfaces. It has a top speed of eight miles per hour and its electric motor provides enough punch to allow it to tow a car behind it.
Operator control is achieved though a hand-held unit incorporating iRobot's Aware 2 software, with the option of integrating additional software including GPS and avoidance sensors.
iRobot 710 Warrior
This control unit allows the iRobot 710 Warrior to manoeuvre this highly powerful and durable military robot design around from up to 800 metres away. According to iRobot, the 710 Warrior supplies the warfighter with versatility, reliability and expandability, alongside ‘superior strength and speed' and ‘proven reliability'.
‘Powerful and rugged, the iRobot 710 Warrior is a multi-mission robot that carries heavy payloads, travels over rough terrain and climbs stairs', the company says, in a statement on its website.
"With the small robots, you really have to optimize them for specific missions", iRobot vice president, Tim Trainer, told MIT's Technology Review publication. "With Warrior, you can provide more flexibility."
Warrior EOD Robot
Some months before the Warrior EOD robot was unveiled, Armed Forces International covered another new release from iRobot - the 110 FirstLook. A much smaller design, the 110 is a throwable military robot, intended as an ahead-of-time observation platform.
More recently, we looked at the US Army's Afghan robot trials. This involves evaluations of several small military robots - the 110 FirstLook among them - for future use in Afghanistan.
Other iRobot products include the well-known PackBot and the Small Unmanned Ground Vehicle (SUGV).
Warrior 710 image copyright iRobot
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