Monday, March 21, 2005

Can They Learn to Man a Checkpoint? 

True, they cost a lot more than high school students, but they're easier to repair and they don't go AWOL:
iRobot announces it has been awarded a Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) contract worth over $18 million to deliver its PackBot EOD robots - explosive ordnance disposal robots - for rapid deployment in support of U.S. troops around the world. iRobot PackBot EOD robots are combat-proven and are being used daily in Iraq and Afghanistan to disarm roadside bombs and other improvised explosive devices (IEDs). To fulfill the contract, iRobot will deliver over 150 robots to the U.S. Navy by the end of 2005 . . . .

iRobot PackBot EOD is a rugged, lightweight robot designed to assist in explosive ordnance disposal, HAZMAT, search-and-surveillance, hostage rescue [!!! -- S.] and other vital tasks for military units. It can handle a full range of conventional ordnance disposal and improvised explosive devices. iRobot PackBot EOD's lightweight, ruggedized OmniReach Manipulator System can reach as far as two meters in any direction to assess and safely disrupt difficult-to-access IEDs, military ordnance, land mines and other incendiary devices.
At the Pentagon's request, the Three Laws of Robotics have been scaled back to two. First Law was deemed a needless impediment to potential field applications.

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