iRobot introduces NexGen Explosive Ordnance Disposal Robot


February 7, 2007

February 8, 2007 That good-for-nothing son of yours who wasted all those hours playing mindless video games might have been building some valuable skill sets after all. IRobot’s newly announced iRobot PackBot 510 with EOD Kit is a second-generation explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) robot that will begin shipping in April and it uses a game-style hand controller. The PackBot 510 is 30 percent faster than its predecessor, drags larger objects, lifts twice the weight and has a grip that is three times stronger. To date, iRobot has delivered more than 800 PackBot robots which are mainly used in Iraq and Afghanistan. The robot’s new hand controller is modeled after video game controllers, making PackBot 510 easier to use, and resulting in less training time and more rapid operations in the field. In addition, the advanced track technology significantly increases the robot’s performance on rough terrain.

To date, iRobot has delivered more than 800 PackBot robots, and these powerful robots are in operation in Iraq, Afghanistan and around the world. The PackBot 510 was designed specifically to address evolving end-user requirements for a stronger, faster and easier-to-use robot.

“We constantly listen to our customers and respond to reports on what users need to successfully tackle dangerous situations in the field,” said Vice Admiral Joe Dyer (U.S. Navy, Ret.), president of iRobot Government & Industrial Robots. “Based on feedback from the troops, iRobot designed the PackBot 510 to help our soldiers counter the increasing and complex threats posed by improvised explosive devices.”

During an EOD training session at Fort Knox, Ky., soldiers from the 703rd Ordnance Company used the new hand controller to maneuver the PackBot. Comments from explosive ordnance disposal specialists include:

“All my time playing video games has paid off and now I can use that knowledge on the battlefield.”

“All of our EOD brothers in Iraq and Afghanistan need this now…you guys at iRobot really know what you are doing.”

“Now this is how robots should be operated…iRobot has listened and come through.”

About the Author
Mike Hanlon Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, (Australia's largest Telco), (Australia's largest employment site),,, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks. All articles by Mike Hanlon
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