iRobot gets more funding, designing Warrior 700

iRobot gets more funding, designing Warrior 700

Postby adam.klaptocz on 05 Dec 2008, 11:08

The U.S. Army, Navy and DARPA have granted US based company iRobot six new research contracts worth a total of $4.4 million US dollars. This follows the US congress allocating 2 million US dollars for iRobot to develop its next-generation robotic platform warrior 700 in early November. In total, iRobot has been awarded contracts in excess of 100 million US dollars for it's PackBot military robots in 2008.

See the Press Release
Check out the Warrior on iRobot's website

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Re: iRobot gets more funding, designing Warrior 700

Postby Andreou George on 07 Dec 2008, 12:17

Spontaneous thought:

How is it possible for other emerging companies to compete with iRobot, when USA government gives all these money to one company?

I am not saying that iRobot doesn't worth these grands but I believe in equal opportunities.
(I could insert some political and economical comments here but I don't feel like it is the right place.)
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Re: iRobot gets more funding, designing Warrior 700

Postby nano on 08 Dec 2008, 10:09

Andreou George wrote:How is it possible for other emerging companies to compete with iRobot, when USA government gives all these money to one company?

I totally get your point and I guess iRobot is getting the biggest bucks for their military robots. However, I feel that there are so many commercial applications for robotics which haven't yet hit the market that there should still remain a lot of room for competition.
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Re: iRobot gets more funding, designing Warrior 700

Postby Johnny 5 on 08 Dec 2008, 18:00

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Talon Military Robot
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To add some perspective here: iRobot is not the only company in that space. Foster-Miller has also cashed in for their Talon robots (see pic above):

Foster-Miller Inc. of Waltham has been awarded $58.5 million in funding for additional Talon military robots and replacement parts, its parent company, QinetiQ North America, said today.

The total represents awards from the US Army and Navy made during the six-month period from May 1 to Nov. 1, the company said.

The company added in a press release: "A total of 2,500 Talon robots are now deployed around the world, with a significant number of them in Iraq and Afghanistan. They are used primarily to assist military personnel with the extremely dangerous job of detecting and disabling roadside bombs – the Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) planted by hostile forces to attack troops. Talon robots have been used in more than 100,000 counter-IED missions to date."

(Source: Boston Globe and Foster-Miller press release)


For me the critical point does not seem to be how smaller companies could compete with iRobot or Foster-Miller - that same question could be asked for all large companies and yet all large companies started out small. :)

What has me thinking is the incredible amount of funding poured into this area of robotics and the ethical consequences of this development. :idea: I suggest we all hope for an upcoming podcast episode on that topic!
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