Throwable robots? They'll never catch on...

Contributor:  Andrew Elwell
Posted:  06/10/2012  12:00:00 AM EDT
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Tags:   soldier

The next generation in tactical military robot systems is here. At Eurosatory RoconRobotics Inc. will unveil the Throwbot XT, a throwable micro-robot use for reconnaissance missions in theatre.

The Throwbot is not new to market, there are currently around 3,700 systems in place in more than 30 countries around the globe, but this XT version comes with a capability upgrade: a microphone.

Users will now be able to use the micro-robot, which at just 1.2lbs (540g) can be thrown up to120 feet (36m) according to the manufacturer, to listen to what’s going on wherever it is guided towards for the first time. It retains the original video transmitting capability earlier incarnations had, making it a far more comprehensive and useful system for the warfighter and peacekeeper alike. The Throwbot can be used to locate armed subjects, confirm the presence of hostages or innocent civilians, listen in on conversations, and reveal the layout of rooms the company said.

“Our objective with this product evolution was to dramatically increase the capabilities of our micro-robot without increasing its weight, and we accomplished that,” said Jean-Luc Panetta, Vice President of Product Management and Engineering. “We are very mindful of the soldier’s burden, and we believe that the new Throwbot XT is, pound-for-pound, the most versatile, robust, stealthy and easy-to-deploy robot system in the world.”

In an unusual move the company recently announced the establishment of its new global headquarters in Lugano, Switzerland afterinitially being based out of Minnesota. The move is aligned with the company’s growth strategy to increase its international footprint after already receiving significant traction in the U.S. market.

"Having firmly established our leadership in micro-robot systems within the U.S. military and federal and local law enforcement agencies, we now aim to heighten our focus on broadening our already well established international footprint," said Alan Bignall, President and CEO of ReconRobotics. "We believe that the need for sublimely simple life-saving technology is universal among military and police, and we believe that Barry Harris and his team are ideally positioned to fill this unmet tactical capability around the world."

Andrew Elwell Contributor:   Andrew Elwell

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