iRobot develops FirstLook robot for defense capabilities

iRobot, a robot design and manufacturing company, recently unveiled its 110 FirstLook robot, a device meant to provide situational awareness for border control, police and CBRN responders.

The new robot is rugged, compact and lightweight. FirstLook allows for persistent observation and investigation for hazardous material situations while keeping the operator safe. The device can be used for various infantry and special operation missions, including building and route clearance and CBRN protection, Shephard Press Limited reports.

To develop the 110 FirstLook robot, iRobot teamed up with RE2 to add on a small lightweight manipulator (SML) to iRobot's 100 FirstLook robot. The SML allows the operator of the FirstLook to manipulate and interact with the environment.

Frank Wilson, the executive vice president and CFO of iRobot, said iRobot has supplied unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs) to the U.S. military for more than a decade, but a decrease in defense budgets has required a shift to the commercial market.

"Everyone knows that U.S. defense budget has gone down so we responded two years ago," Wilson said, according to Shephard Press Limited. 'We are active now in various segments including law enforcement, firefighting and industrial application."

iRobot presented its new robot at the Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International exhibition, which took place on May 12-15 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla., Shephard Press Limited reports.