iRobot Corp., a robot manufacturer, and The Boeing Co. announced Monday an agreement to develop and deliver a new, next-generation Small Unmanned Ground Vehicle (SUGV) to military, civil and commercial users.
The robot, known as SUGV Early, weighs less than 30 pounds and will allow users to remotely conduct reconnaissance and secure real-time intelligence while remaining out of harm’s way.
Boeing and iRobot will use Commercial Off-The-Shelf (COTS) technology to manufacture and deploy the new robot, which is planned for production and delivery in 2008.
The SUGV Early is a smaller, lighter version of the combat-proven iRobot PackBot, which is used daily in Iraq and Afghanistan to safely disarm Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and search buildings, caves and tunnels for hostile forces.
According to Vice Admiral Joe Dyer (U.S. Navy, Ret.), president of iRobot Government & Industrial Robots, the SUGV early is light enough to be carried long distances and easy enough to operate allowing it to be utilized as a standard tool for infantry squads and SWAT teams.
Boeing and iRobot will jointly market the new SUGV Early robot. Boeing will also contribute systems integration, large-volume production and global marketing, while iRobot will design, develop and manufacture the robot.