Boeing [BA] and iRobot [IRBT] have received an initial contract from the Air Force to provide Small Unmanned Ground Vehicles (SUGVs) to its Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team, the companies said this week.
The contract calls for up to 70 model 310 SUGV robots, with an initial value of $3.84 million. The indefinite delivery/quantity contract will run through September 2012.
“Robots like the 310 SUGV have already proven their worth on today’s battlefield,” said Robert Moses, president of iRobot’s Government and Industrial Division. “Every day, the military is finding new ways to implement this game-changing technology, all in an effort to increase mission success and keep warfighters safe.”
The system is ideal for a variety of mission types, according to the companies: EOD, route clearance and reconnaissance. The tracked, man-packable robot weighs less than 30 pounds and is used by the Army to conduct different types of urban warfare missions.
Boeing and iRobot developed the SUGV family of vehicles under a partnership agreement that began in 2007. The robot is designed to give soldiers real-time awareness of critical situations and to allow them to complete missions from safe distances.
As the prime contractor, Boeing provides program management, contracts and quality-control support from offices in Huntsville, Ala. iRobot is responsible for engineering, manufacturing, training and logistics services, with the majority of that work conducted in Bedford, Mass.