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iRobot SUGV Early -- image courtesy Crave
iRobot and Boeing co-develop the new SUGV Early

The last time DailyTech covered iRobot, the company had made enhancements to its PackBot robot. The PackBot is a 44-pound tracked device that "listens" for enemy gunfire on the battlefield.

Using its Robot Enhanced Detection Outpost with Lasers (REDOWL) system, the Packbot can navigate through a battlefield and distinguish between enemy AK-47 gunfire and friendly M-16 gunfire via its six microphones. The Packbot -- when working in conjunction with an unmanned Micro Air Vehicle (MAV) hovering over a target area -- can then relay back to the operator the exact location of the enemy troops.

iRobot is now working in conjunction with Boeing on a next generation Small Unmanned Ground Vehicle (SUGV). The SUGV Early vehicle will be designed for civil, commercial and military use, weigh less than 30 pounds and will be “backpackable.” In an effort to control the costs of the SUGV, off-the-shelf components will be used.

"The SUGV Early is light enough to be carried long distances and easy enough to operate so that we believe it could become a standard tool for infantry squads and SWAT teams," said Joe Dyer, president of iRobot Government & Industrial Robots. "By teaming with Boeing, we can leverage their system-of-system capabilities and global marketing strength to quickly get these life-saving robots into the hands of our troops, first responders and allies worldwide."

"We see ground robots as a major new growth market and iRobot, as the industry leader in this field, is our partner of choice to bring new robot technology to market," said Boeing Combat Systems VP Dennis Muilenburg.

The first SUGV Early robots will be delivered in 2008. iRobot will handle the design and manufacturing of the SUGV Early while Boeing will lend its hand in systems integration and global marketing.



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RE: Thats a cool TOY
By BMFPitt on 4/24/2007 12:04:39 PM , Rating: 2
I'm still waiting for one the does my laundry. Or at least puts it away.


RE: Thats a cool TOY
By allrighty on 4/24/2007 12:09:48 PM , Rating: 2
have they not learned from the movie ;)


RE: Thats a cool TOY
By FITCamaro on 4/24/2007 12:34:04 PM , Rating: 3
You loose that robot at age 18-20 (except for losers who stay live at home mooching off mom and dad). It's designation is M.O.M.


RE: Thats a cool TOY
By oTAL on 5/10/2007 2:08:45 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not a looser and I still live at home.
Depends on you culture. In my country it is normal for you to live with your parents if your university is close to home (it is actually rare to move out under those circumstances).

I recently finished my studies and, like many of my friends, see no reason nor feel like I have the economic stability to move out. I have all the independence I need but I get to be integrated into a familiar environment, always have food in the fridge and have a maid that does the laundry for the whole family. Also, being Southern European, our family ties are stronger (think Latin America or Italy).

Economic conditions are also a large factor. Although I am rather successful for my age, I only make little over 1000€/month (which is quite good in Portugal) and I would have to live in a pretty lame house OR location to be able to afford it (a flat mate would make it more sustainable but a good one is hard to find...). Right now I prefer to live in a comfortable place, have little traffic to work, and save money so that I may leave home in a more comfortable and secure manner. Most people do exactly that and end up leaving home when they get married (which helps since they get the hole house equipped in wedding gifts).

It's a cultural thing. Could I do it? Yeah! But why live in a shit hole for years facing traffic everyday when I can save up and move out in a couple of years to a comfortable place.

Just to clear things up I am no looser by any stretch of the imagination. I have a 5-year electronics engineering graduation on one of the best universities in Europe (FEUP - I even teached there briefly, after graduating); a beautiful and intelligent girlfriend (a nurse, also living with her parents); and I have loads of friends having been quite popular throughout my university years.

That being said, I found your comment amusing and took no offense. :)


"If a man really wants to make a million dollars, the best way would be to start his own religion." -- Scientology founder L. Ron. Hubbard

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