The US Marine Corps (USMC) has awarded a contract to unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs) supplier Endeavor Robotics for the delivery of FirstLook robots.
The $10m deal will see Endeavor provide the USMC with its lightweight, battle-proven robots that are set to be equipped with the company’s uPoint multi-robot control system.
Endeavor Robotics president Tom Frost said: “FirstLook is a small robot with a big technology punch.
“It gives the Marine Corps an advanced, multi-mission robot that’s rugged, easy to carry and offers greater communications range through superior networked radios.”
The interoperable technology within Endeavor Robotics’ uPoint system is capable of significantly reducing operator training time and features a common tablet-based controller that the marines also use for their small unmanned ground vehicles (SUGVs).
The current contract follows two previous awards for the provision of Endeavor’s ‘back-packable’ SUGV robot to the USMC, which were valued at more than $24m.
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Frost added: “We’re proud the marines have chosen Endeavor’s FirstLook to complement the mid-size SUGVs already on order.
“Whatever their mission or choice of robot, these two technology solutions help the Corps keep marines out of harm’s way, while accomplishing their combat duties.”
The 5lb ‘throwable’ FirstLook robots can be dropped approximately 20ft onto concrete without causing any damage.
The robots are often used to clear buildings and detect improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and are ideal for use in confined spaces such as caves, tunnels and crawl spaces.
FirstLook unit feature day / night cameras and two-way audio. They are intended to serve as the marines’ ‘eyes and ears’ during operations, thereby offering operators a greater stand-off distance from potential threats.
In addition, the robot is capable of climbing over seven-inch obstacles and can automatically right itself when flipped over.