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News

US army contract for xBot prototype robots.

IRobot : 18 December, 2007  (Application Story)
iRobot expands army robot deployment into areas beyond explosive ordnance device applications with new order from US army.
iRobot has been awarded the xBot contract, a $286 million Indefinite-Delivery/Indefinite-Quantity (IDIQ) contract from the US Army Program Executive Office for Simulation, Training, and Instrumentation (PEO STRI), on behalf of the Robotic Systems Joint Project Office at Redstone Arsenal, Ala. Under the terms of the contract, the Army could order up to 3,000 military robots, spare parts, training and repair services over the next five years.

The award marks a turning point in the way the Army uses robots in combat, which until now have been deployed in limited numbers only to explosive ordnance device (EOD) specialists. With this award, the Army broadens the deployment of robots in larger scale to general infantry forces for a variety of critical missions in addition to EOD. iRobot immediately will begin to deliver the first 101 robots for urgent deployment.

"This new generation of robots is set to arrive in the theatre and change the way the Army fights," said Joe Dyer, president of iRobot Government and Industrial Robots. "Robots give our troops the distinct advantage of completing critical missions at a safe distance; more robots create a greater strategic advantage. We are honoured to serve our troops by delivering these robots for urgent deployment."

iRobot was selected to fulfill the contract as the lowest priced, technically qualified bidder deemed able to deliver as a responsible contractor. iRobot's winning xBot prototype robot is based closely on the combat-proven iRobot PackBot military robot platform. xBot is a generic name, and the robots delivered to forces under the contract will be named iRobot PackBot 510 with FasTac Kit. These robots are smaller and lighter than the iRobot PackBot 510, with a robust gripper and an observation mast equipped with a low-light-capable zoom camera.

iRobot has delivered more than 1,200 PackBot robots, which are at work conducting dangerous missions while warfighters remain out of harm's way.

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