Northrop Grumman enhances Wheelbarrow UGV

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Northrop Grumman has launched the latest version of its Wheelbarrow unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) for the remote handling and surveillance of hazardous threats.

The Wheelbarrow Mk9 vehicle was designed, developed and manufactured by Northrop Grumman in the UK and includes new features hoped to improve its capabilities for civil security and defence applications.

‘This latest design of our well-proven Wheelbarrow vehicle combines greater speed, mobility, exceptional payload and reach capabilities with the latest control, communications and camera specifications,’ said Kevin Rooney, managing director of UGVs for Northrop Grumman’s Information Systems sector in Europe.

Key features of the Wheelbarrow Mk9 include digital communications, an enhanced command console with touch-screen facility and joystick control and a wireless hand controller for local remote control. The vehicle also has a dedicated separate data channel for additional sensor integration.

Its performance characteristics are said to rank it among the most capable vehicles available in its class as it can climb a 45-degree stairway; has a modular telescopic arm with seven degrees of freedom and a maximum reach of more than 6m; has a maximum speed of 5km per hour; and has a lift capacity of 150kg.

Wheelbarrow was first used by British Army bomb disposal teams in the 1970s and since then it has gone through a number of design upgrades to extend its capabilities and meet changing needs.