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Army, Navy Order iRobots

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BURLINGTON, Mass., July 11, 2007 -- The maker of Roomba home vacuuming robots and Scooba mop-replacement robots said today it has received two orders for bomb-busting robots worth a total $17.5 million from the US military.

iRobot also said hours of training on video games with its new game-style hand controller have pre-trained soldiers to use its PackBot EOD (explosive ordnance disposal) robots.

The US Army's Program Executive Office for Simulation, Training, and Instrumentation (PEO STRI), formerly NAVAIR, on behalf of the Robotic Systems Joint Project Office at Redstone Arsenal, Ala., and the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) both placed orders for military robots. iRobot said it expects to complete delivery by the end of January.

The Army placed an order valued at more than $8.6 million for 14 iRobot PackBot robots with ICx Fido Kit and five iRobot PackBot EOD robots, plus spare parts. The PackBot robots will ship with iRobot's new game-style hand controllers. This brings the total  orders to date to approximately $36 million. Under an existing contract, PEO STRI could order up to the full $64.3 million value in robots, spare parts, training and repair services.

NAVSEA ordered 60 iRobot PackBot MTRS (man-transportable robotic systems) robots and spare parts valued at $8.9 million for "joint service explosive ordnance disposal" use, bringing NAVSEA's total orders to date to more than $74 million. Under the terms of NAVSEA's existing  contract, the military could order up to the full $264 million value in robots, parts, training and repair.

"We see growing enthusiasm from our military customers for our reliable, life-saving PackBot robots," said retired Navy Vice Adm. Joe Dyer, president of iRobot Government and Industrial Robots. "We will continue our efforts to improve our battle-proven technologies with innovations like PackBot's new game-style hand controller, which takes advantage of hours of training our young men and women have logged with computer games, making them pre-trained PackBot operators."

iRobot said it has delivered more than 1000 PackBot robots to military and civilian customers worldwide. "The robots have performed tens of thousands of missions in Iraq and Afghanistan and are credited with saving soldiers' lives," the company said.

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Jul 2007
The technology of generating and harnessing light and other forms of radiant energy whose quantum unit is the photon. The science includes light emission, transmission, deflection, amplification and detection by optical components and instruments, lasers and other light sources, fiber optics, electro-optical instrumentation, related hardware and electronics, and sophisticated systems. The range of applications of photonics extends from energy generation to detection to communications and...
defenseEODindustrialiRobotiRobot PackBot EOD robotsNAVAIRNews & FeaturesPackBotsPEO STIphotonicsRobotic Systems Joint Project OfficerobotsRoomaScooba

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