Army Invests $32 Million in New Robots
13, 2004 - NEWSdial.com)
iRobot Corp. announced that it has finalized a contract worth
$32 million to develop a next-generation Small Unmanned Ground
Vehicle for the U.S. Army's groundbreaking Future Combat Systems
(FCS) program. The Small Unmanned Ground Vehicle (SUGV) is a
portable, reconnaissance and tactical robot that can enter and
secure areas that are either inaccessible or too dangerous for
humans. SUGVs act as eyes and ears for soldiers, providing real-time
intelligence while allowing the soldiers to stay out of harm's
like the SUGV are transforming the way wars are fought today
in places like Iraq and Afghanistan, and well into the future,
helping to ensure that our soldiers can react quickly and decisively
to unforeseen challenges," said Vice Admiral Joe Dyer (U.S.
Navy, Ret.), executive vice president and general manager of
iRobot's Government & Industrial Robotics division. "The
FCS program is at the forefront of a revolution in military technology,
and iRobot is honored to be entrusted with such an important
component of the program."
new contract will allow iRobot to grow its engineering department
by over 15 percent in 2004 alone. iRobot joins 22 other partners
selected as part of a "Best of Industry" team to lead
the development and demonstration phase of the Army program.
Boeing (NYSE:BA) and Science Applications International Corporation
(SAIC) together serve as the Lead Systems Integrator for FCS.
is a networked "system of systems" composed of 18 components,
from troop carriers and self-propelled artillery to robots, unmanned
ground vehicles, unmanned aerial vehicles and sophisticated sensors.
It uses advanced communications and other technologies to link
soldiers with the components of the system, giving them access
to data that can provide a much more accurate picture of the
combat environment than is now available. The new equipment will
replace many of the heavier tanks and other vehicles that have
been in the Army's inventory for decades.
Muilenburg, vice president and FCS program manager at Boeing,
said: "Today iRobot joins what is the Army's most ambitious
and visionary project. The FCS program will employ cutting-edge
technology to give our soldiers the best intelligence, combat
options and clear advantage on the battlefield. The Army is also
breaking new ground in how it works with the private sector to
develop FCS. iRobot is now part of a partnership forged between
the Army, the LSI team of Boeing and SAIC, and its partners selected
to lead the development of the major components of FCS."
is on a "fast track" to development, with full production
planned to begin in 2010. System Development and Demonstration
is expected to cost $14.9 billion, and be completed by 2008.
The LSI and government selected its major industry partners after
an exhaustive evaluation of hundreds of proposals received earlier
to April 2004 News Archives