Procurement: Britain Buys American Bots


Lebanon August 12, 2006: Britain is buying 30 American built PackBot EOD (bomb disposal) robots. These 50 pound units are designed for checking out potential roadside bombs and booby traps. It has a robotic arm and cameras. It can leave a remote control explosive by a roadside bomb, to destroy it. The PackBot has built in computing power equal to a low end PC and is simple to learn how to use. The PackBots are controlled via a custom device that looks like a video game controller, except that it has a small 1024x768 pixel LCD display. The same company that builds PackBot also makes a civilian appliance; the Roomba, a robotic vacuum cleaner. These sell for about $300 each, while the Packbot goes for about $50,000 each.


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