Personal robots could enhance soldiers’ situational awareness

Personal robots that can provide soldiers with an extra level of situational awareness are to be supplied to the US Army.

Under a contract worth $4.8m (£3.1m) from the US Army Rapid Equipping Force, ReconRobotics will supply 315 Recon Scout XT micro-robot kits and an equal number of SearchStick devices.

According to ReconRobotics, the SearchStick enables soldiers to convert any Recon Scout Throwbot into a pole camera, which can then be used to see over compound walls, onto rooftops and into culverts. The company plans to complete deliveries of these micro-robot systems by 31 October 2011.

Recon Scout XT micro-robots are reportedly deployed at the fire-team level — one robot for each four- to six-man fire team — to maximise situational awareness and standoff distance during route — and compound-clearing operations.

The Recon Scout — which weighs 540g and can be thrown up to 36m — determines the layout of the enclosed spaces, can identify potential IEDs and then fix the location of friendly, indigenous or enemy personnel.

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