Thursday, January 19, 2006

BomBot to be Built in West Virginia

FAIRMONT, W.Va. - The West Virginia High Technology Consortium (WVHTC) Foundation has captured a $9.6 million contract from the United States Navy to manufacture the BomBotâ„¢, a robot designed to disable and dispose of improvised explosive devices.

Innovative Response Technologies, Inc. (IRT)
, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the WVHTC Foundation, was awarded the contract by the U.S. Navy EOD (Explosive Ordinance Disposal) Technology Division. The contract calls for the manufacture of remotely controlled BomBot units, robots that can be rapidly deployed to place explosive charges on or near an improvised explosive device (IED) without exposing the operator to danger.

Congressman Alan B. Mollohan, D-W.Va., secured a total of $3.75 million in the 2004 and 2005 Defense Department spending bills for the WVHTC Foundation to prototype, test and evaluate the BomBot. Its success led to the new contract award.
"Advanced robotics is a field with long-term potential. With our traditional manufacturing expertise and our ever-increasing high-tech capabilities, northern West Virginia is positioned to be a significant force in the development of these systems," Mollohan said.

Earlier versions of robots cost more than $100,000 to build, while the BomBot costs under $5,000.
The BomBot is a miniature, modified, 4x4, remote controlled truck that has been equipped with a camera that can pan and tilt. The BomBot has a simple explosive charge dispenser that acts in much the same way as the bed of a dump truck. This robot, which weighs an estimated 15 pounds and is 20 inches by 20 inches in size, can reach speeds of 30 to 35 miles per hour and is able to quickly and more covertly place a device near an IED to destroy it.
The BomBot is designed to carry up to 10 pounds of explosives to a suspect improvised device, drop off the explosives and move away from the explosives so that the operator can detonate them.

WVHTC Foundation News

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