Military Photo: Take Your Robot to Work Day

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Bomb disposal soldier carries his robot to work.

One of the more successful combat robots is now available in a new model. The PakBot Explorer has three cameras, plus better mobility than earlier models. PakBot UGVs (Unmanned Ground Vehicles) weigh from 25-53 40 pounds (depending on equipment carried), can operate under water and travel on land at speeds of up to 14 kilometers an hour (3-4 meters a second). The new model has built-in GPS, as well as temperature sensors. Most of the hundred PakBots out there are the heavier EOD (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) models. But newer, lighter models are designed for infantry use. The PakBots are controlled via a wireless system (with a range of about 1,000 meters). Costing about $45,000 each, the PakBot first showed up in Afghanistan in 2002, and a year later in Iraq. The infantry troops are encouraged by the models they have been given so far, but want them to be smaller, lighter and more reliable. That�s probably going to take the rest of the decade to accomplish. A ten pound UGV that can be tossed through a door, window or cave entrance, then operated via a hand held controller, or onboard software (artificial intelligence) seems to be the objective.

Posted: 07/01/2005


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