iRobot may still be best known as the creator of the homely Roomba vacuum-cleaning drone, but savvy readers will know the company’s endeavors span a pretty broad range of robot-related activities. One of those has now borne fruit in the shape of a multiyear agreement with the US Navy for the provision of “portable robotic systems” that can identify and dispose of explosives while also performing a bit of reconnaissance work in their spare time. The announcement doesn’t tell us the particular model(s) or number of bots that will be provided, but there is clarification to say that iRobot will be responsible for providing spares, repairs, training, and accessories along with the hardware, with the total revenue for the company potentially swelling to $230 million over the full course of the contract, which lasts through 2015. Our guess is that the “throwable” robot shown off a couple of weeks back would be a good candidate for this task, though we doubt it’ll be thanking us for endorsing it for such perilous work.
iRobot agrees to provide US Navy with bomb disposal and recon bots in a deal worth up to $230 million originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 13 Apr 2011 10:24:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.