iRobot Corp. (NASDAQ:IRBT) today announced it has designed an advanced communications capability that will provide its military robots with greater tactical flexibility in the field. The new Adaptable Communications Payload enables communication between robot operators and the iRobot(R) PackBot(R) on different radio frequencies, facilitating reliable operations at longer ranges, a critical function in today’s battlefield environment.
iRobot’s unique digital architecture and modular designs give warfighters the ability to quickly and easily plug the new payload into the popular PackBot EOD robots. The Adaptable Communications Payload – an industry first – is expected to be available in 2007.
The company is also developing enhanced capabilities for the Adaptable Communications Payload, which are expected to be released in late 2007. iRobot is currently collaborating with Harris Corporation (NYSE:HRS) to provide NSA-certified, Type 1 military communications via the Adaptable Communications Payload. The companies have demonstrated control of PackBot robots via the Harris SecNet-11(R) Plus secure wireless LAN technology for military customers and at the Association of Unmanned Vehicles Systems International (AUVSI) conference in August.
In addition, iRobot and Innovative Concepts Inc. (ICI) are creating a technology that will allow multiple robots to form an ad hoc communications network, which will in turn enable the robot to locate and re-establish communications with other out-of-range robots. Also at AUVSI, the companies demonstrated networked control of PackBot robots using the ICI OpenMesh(TM) networking technology to send data through multiple network nodes to increase range and enable non-line-of-sight operations.
“iRobot continues to develop new capabilities that can be rapidly integrated into its robots to meet the demands of today’s network-centric environment,” said Vice Admiral Joe Dyer (U.S. Navy, Ret.), president of iRobot Government and Industrial Robots. “The capability for multiple robots to communicate with each other is another example of how our robots can provide reliable communications in dangerous missions, while keeping our soldiers out of harm’s way.”
To date, iRobot has delivered more than 700 PackBot robots to a broad range of military and civilian customers worldwide. The robots have performed tens of thousands of missions in Iraq and Afghanistan and are credited with saving soldiers’ lives.
About iRobot Corp.
iRobot is a provider of robots that perform dull, dirty or dangerous missions in a better way. The company’s proprietary technology, iRobot AWARE Robot Intelligence Systems, incorporates advanced concepts in navigation, mobility, manipulation and artificial intelligence. This proprietary system enables iRobot to build behavior-based robots, including its family of consumer and military robots.