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August 24, 2011

ReconRobotics Receives U.S. Army Contract for Smaller Robots



ReconRobotics was awarded contracts from the U.S. Army for smaller robots that can undertake surveillance in dangerous situations – and can hopefully minimize casualties.

The $5.8 million contracts are from the U.S. Army Rapid Equipping Force and the U.S. Special Operations Command for 385 of the Recon Scout XT micro-robot kits.

The mini Recon Scout XT protects soldiers from opposing forces or deadly Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), the company said.

Also in the deal, were the Recon Scout SearchStick devices, which can convert a Recon Scout Throwbot into a pole camera, the company adds.

ReconRobotics is expected to deliver the robots by the end of this month.

"Nothing makes us more proud than designing and building products that help our U.S. Armed Forces safely and successfully complete their missions,” Ernest Langdon, director of Military Programs for ReconRobotics, said in a company statement. "Our military sees these durable, easy-to-deploy micro-robots as a critical piece of gear for dismounted troops, not unlike their ballistic vests and helmets. Not only do these robots provide immediate visual reconnaissance that saves lives, but they do so without substantially increasing the carry burden of our U.S. Special Forces and dismounted fire teams."

The company explains the new order shows an “increasing emphasis on personal micro-robots that are deployed at the fire-team level.” That means one robot for each four- to six-person fire team.

“Until now, the majority of deployed military robots have been Small Unmanned Ground Vehicles (SUGVs) that weigh 30 to 40 lbs and are typically deployed at the company level (80 to 200 soldiers) to assist in counter-IED missions,” the company adds.

Close to 2,000 of the Recon Scout Throwbot systems were deployed by either the U.S. military and or military from its allies, as well as hundreds of law enforcement agencies.

The Recon Scout XT weighs 1.2 pounds, can be deployed in five seconds and thrown up to 120 feet.

The Recon Scout system shows layout of enclosed spaces, potential IEDs and the location of other military units.

In other recent company news, ReconRobotics signed an agreement with Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Pacific to develop a Recon Scout Throwbot reconnaissance robot with magnetized wheels, TMCnet said. The robot will be able to climb up and over the hull of a ship and could be used in a stand-off with pirates, TMCnet adds.

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Ed Silverstein is a TMCnet contributor. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Rich Steeves


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