The Boeing Company and the iRobot team have successfully developed and supplied the first 30 Small Unmanned Ground Vehicles (SUGV) to the US Air Force.
The delivery represents the preliminary task order of an indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity agreement with the US Air Force and it will be over by September 2012. These SUGVs will be deployed in various operations of the Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team.
Mike Huddleston, Robotics Program Manager for Boeing Network & Tactical Systems, expressed his pleasure in working with iRobot for helping Air Force EOD technical crew to carry out inspection. He added that the SUGVs will enable to minimize their exposure to unexploded bombs.
According to Robert Moses, President of iRobot's Government and Industrial Robots Division, UGVs are very useful in saving human lives in battlegrounds. He mentioned that SUGV depicts a significant improvement in UGV technology due to its latest abilities and light weight feature. He added that soldiers can immediately deploy the SUGV whenever a risky operation has to be performed.
SUGVs were built by Boeing and iRobot under a strategic partnership that started in 2007. The robot offers an instantaneous situational awareness of dangerous situations to soldiers and also enables them to successfully finish the mission from a safe place. These robots can be deployed for several operations like EOD, clearing the pathway and inspection.
Boeing is the major contractor for this project and it offers program management, agreements and quality-control assistance from the Huntsville-based offices. iRobot offers various services like engineering, development, production, logistics and coaching from its office in Bedford.