We've been catching glimpses of iRobot's 710 Warrior ground robot at trade shows and in videos for something like 2 years now. We even saw a couple of pared down prototypes deployed to Fukushima prefecture to assist with the radiation cleanup after the earthquake in Japan in last year. And finally the behemoth of the iRobot ground fleet is going up for sale. Ready the 150-foot strings of mine-excavating explosive charges--seriously.
Massachusetts-based iRobot already has a number of robots in the field and in the household--they make everything from the popular Roomba vacuum robots to the tiny SUGV and larger Packbots that are workhorses of American Explosives Ordnance Disposal teams working overseas. But the Warrior will be the largest, weighing in at 450 pounds and sporting a 6.5-foot mechanical arm. It can climb stairs, reach its arm up to 11.5 feet high, and negotiate obstacles up to more than 1.5 feet high. It can be weaponized, or fitted with a variety of task-specific tools. It can delicately open a car door or smash its way through the windows. Or it can just tow the car.
You don't need us to tell you that's awesome. Warrior's size and weight will limit its ability to deploy in the field like Packbot and SUGV, which fit relatively well in the back of a truck or, in SUGV's case, in a rucksack. But in situations where it can be deployed it will offer handlers a far more versatile robot than its lighter brethren. See it perform many of these versatile tasks below.