Roomba’s rugged cousin gets called up for military duty

March 7, 2012

Massachusetts-based iRobot is probably best known as the maker of the Roomba line of floor-cleaning robots for the home, but its latest contraption has more than tracked-in dirt to worry about. Designed for the military, the FirstLook 110 is meant to provide troops with a way to perform reconnaissance of buildings without putting themselves in harm's way. It's thrown through windows and gets to work looking for explosives, hostiles, and other dangers.

Lightweight and small, the FirstLook is still very rugged, capable of surviving 15-foot drops unscathed. Piloted using a remote control unit, it sends back video from four built-in cameras and is able to negotiate obstacles up to seven inches high, or automatically right itself if flipped over.

The U.S. military has purchased 100 of the robots and will be subjecting them to field tests this spring. iRobot is already working on a more advanced version of the FirstLook that can be used to relay radio communications using a mesh network comprising several of the bots.


This article was written by Randy Nelson and originally appeared on Tecca

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