iRobot, the company behind household helpers, such as the Roomba and Scooba, and military and police robots, such as the PackBot and Negotiator, has released an updated version of its Warrior 700 robot. Like its predecessor, the newly launched 710 Warrior is designed for EOD (explosive ordnance disposal), reconnaissance and surveillance missions and can lift loads of up to 220 lbs (100 kg) and carry payloads of more than 150 pounds (68 kg) over rough terrain.
Measuring 35-in (89 cm) long, 18-in (46 cm) high (in stowed configuration) and 30.25-in (77 cm) wide (or 21.25-in with its stair-climbing flippers removed), the 710 Warrior weighs 347 lbs (157 kg) with battery and flippers installed and can travel at speeds of up to 8 mph (12.9 km/h) thanks to its electric motor that packs enough grunt to allow the robot to pull a car.
The unmanned robot is controlled via an Operator Control Unit powered by iRobot's Aware 2 robot intelligence software and can be fitted with optional obstacle avoidance sensors, compass and GPS. The remote operator can monitor views from the robot's multiple cameras in real time at distances of up to 2,624 ft (800 m).
Designed to be highly configurable to adapt to a range of missions, the robot can be fitted with a variety of payloads, including an APOBS (Anti-Personnel Obstacle Breaching System) and various weapons and accessories, as well as a manipulator arm that can extend 75-in (192 cm) and boasts enough dexterity to open a car door.
iRobot's vice president of operations for government and industrial robots, Tim Trainer, told Technology Review that two prototype Warrior robots were used to explore damaged buildings at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant site following last year's tsunami. They were used to clean up radiation-contaminated rooms safe for humans with a vacuum cleaner taped to the robot's arm to suck up radioactive dust.
The 710 Warrior is now ready for manufacture and there's no list price, but iRobot can be contacted for quotes.
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