Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Toy Truck Becomes Military Helper

Engineers from the Air Force Research Laboratory Materials and Manufacturing Directorate have rapidly prototyped, developed, and delivered low-cost expendable robots to disable and dispose of improvised explosive devices.

The BomBot is a modified 4x4 remote controlled truck that has been equipped with a pan and tilt camera and a charge dispenser. The robot can reach speeds of 30 to 35 miles an hour.

"IEDs, or improvised explosive devices, are key instruments of terror that conform to no set rules or standards; the construction is left entirely to the imagination and ingenuity of the evildoer," Walt M. Waltz, Air Force Research Laboratory's Airbase Technologies Division Robotics Research Group Leader said.

When an IED is identified, rarely do EOD personnel attempt to dispose of these explosives by hand. Instead, they approach them remotely, sometimes dispatching robots costing $110,000 to $140,000 to disable or detonate the packages.

Many of the current systems are large, must be transported on a Humvee or by trailer, and move at speeds of just a few miles an hour.

Event Showcases Soldier Technology to Senators - U.S. Department of Defense Transformation Story

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