QinetiQ has announced the rollout of its highly adaptive Dragon Runner small unmanned ground vehicle (SGV).

The Dragon Runner SUGV is the first fully modular ground robot system capable of both quick reconnaissance and improvised explosive device (IED) disarmament in urban, mountainous or rural environments.

The modular base unit weighs less than 20lb and can be carried by one person in a standard-issue pack and comes with field-transformable features that quickly snap or bolt into place.

Dragon Runner is currently the smallest and also one of the newest members of the TALON family of QinetiQ North America robots

President of the Technology Solutions Group, QinetiQ North America, Dr. William Ribich said that they had listened closely to their military customers needs.

“We’ve created a lightweight, modular robot that can climb stairs, open doors, provide critical reconnaissance information and disarm IEDs – all while protecting our troops, who control the robot from a safe distance,” said Ribich.

The Dragon Runner can be adapted to perform reconnaissance inside buildings, sewers, drainpipes, caves and courtyards and provide perimeter security using on-board motion and sound detectors. Other applications include checkpoint security; in-vehicle and under-vehicle inspections; and hostage barricade reconnaissance and negotiation.

Operators of Dragon Runner SUGV have the ability to add tracks for maximum mobility and a manipulator arm with rotating shoulder, wrist and grippers for dexterity. In addition, day and night pan / tilt / zoom cameras, motion detectors and a listening capability allow Dragon Runner SUGV to further extend the combat team’s situational awareness.

Additionally, the Dragon Runner gives operator’s field-changeable frequency capabilities, using analogue or digital radio options, to improve flexibility and range. Standard vehicle and operator control unit batteries mean that troops can use available government inventory for reduced cost and improved sustainability, making Dragon Runner SUGV even easier to integrate into current missions.

QinetiQ North America also provides a worldwide maintenance and support plan to return battle-damaged Dragon Runner SUGVs to active duty as quickly as possible.

By Daniel Garrun.