The new iRobot Warrior 700 robot looks like the (much) bigger brother of the company’s PackBot. In fact the Warrior is a much larger, more powerful platform designed to deliver, well, PackBots (among other missions). The Warrior 700 can carry a PackBot at the end of an articulated arm, and insert the it through a window for reconnaissance, explosive ordnance disposal, rescue, or other missions.
The Warrior 700 was recently put through its paces at the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) unmanned systems event in Washington, DC. By rising up on the articulated treads, the Warrior was able to extend its arm and drop the PackBot through a window. The PackBot is rugged enough to survive the short drop to the floor, and using the Warrior to deliver it keeps the operators safely out of harm’s way.
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The Warrior 700 has the same general design as the smaller PackBot, including articulated, tracked “flippers” for propulsion and a versatile platform for attaching accessories. Like the PackBot, the Warrior can maneuver across rough terrain, climb stairs, and even ford streams. However, the Warrior is scaled up to handle heavy-duty missions. Where the PackBot has a payload capacity of 46lbs (20.9kg), the Warrior can carry 150lbs (68kg) and has enough power to drag a person.
The PackBot, as its name implies, is small enough to be carried in a pack and deployed by one person. The Warrior 700 is not as portable and is designed for tougher tasks such as explosives disposal, route clearing, and surveillance. Its top speed is 9.3 mph (15 km/h), which isn’t bad for a robot that weighs 342.5lbs (155.3kg).
The first iRobot Warrior 700 production units should be available in the third quarter of 2009.