iRobot has unveiled pre-production prototypes of its latest new product, the iRobot 110 FirstLook unmanned ground vehicle (UGV). This small, light and throwable robot provides hasty situational awareness, performs persistent observation and investigates confined spaces. “FirstLook is going to be a very important tool for warfighters and first responders,” said Robert Moses, president of iRobot’s Government and Industrial Robots division.
“Given its small size, ruggedness and state-of-the-art capabilities, the robot is ideal for a range of infantry missions and special operations.” iRobot 110 FirstLook weighs less than 2.5 kg (about five pounds) and is 10 inches long, making it ideal for building clearing, raids and other close-in scenarios. iRobot 110 FirstLook is designed to survive drops from height of five meters (15-foot) onto concrete, and is waterproof to a depth of one meter (three feet.) The robot can climb steps up to 20 cm (about 8 inches) high, overcomes curbs and other obstacles, turns in place and self-rights when flipped over. According to the developers, the robot can run more than 6 hours of runtime on a typical mission and up to 10 hours performing stationary video monitoring.
The robot uses IR illumination to enhance low light and no light operations. This mini-robot has four built-in cameras and two-way audio communication. The robot uses an integral, digital mesh network node, allowing multiple robots to relay radio communications over greater distances, effectively transferring communications indoors. User control is provided through a wrist-mounted, touchscreen operator control unit (OCU) with a built-in radio.
The new robot will be available for delivery to customers in 2012. iRobot plans to introduce the new robot to military customers and law enforcement personnel.