Though it seems like every hobby shop with a Flip cam and a remote control dune buggy is pitching some sort of military-grade unmanned ground vehicle, iRobot is clearly a leader in its field and should be taken seriously with its products.
We got a tip on this little ground drone that iRobot claims is "throwable"...Looks to me like a slightly updated version of what the Marine Corps Warfighting Lab has been working on for over a decade.
The company yesterday unveiled prototypes of the 110 FirstLook, a small, lightweight unmanned ground vehicle that resembles a remote-controlled toy tank.
With four cameras and two-way radio, the FirstLook is designed for quick, urban recon missions. At just under five pounds and 10 inches long, it can provide “hasty situational awareness,” keep an eye out for long periods of time and check out confined spaces.Fair enough, but the market is already saturated with these kinds of things and there's been little willingness to incorporate them into the kitbag of anyone outside the EOD or Spec Ops world.
“The idea is you can chuck this thing into a room and see what’s in there,” said Robert Moses, the president of iRobot’s government and industrial robots division.
Throwable ground bots are all well and good, but it seems that units prefer aerial drones to look at prepped defenses and squirters and don't have confidence that the ground creepers will be able to get to where they need to go for eyes on. We're open to arguments on this, but we've seen little real-world use of these types of systems....but they do make for great video.