InformationWeek.com is reporting that InRob Tech, Ltd., a Las Vegas based robotics developer, has announced plans today to begin developing a bigger version of its bomb-disposal robot, the Hornet MK-5, during the spring of 2006. The MK-5 has been popular with police and military forces for several years, but InRob has now recognized a growing need for a larger, stronger, more robust robot.
The new system’s arm will have 5 degrees of freedom and a 130-lb. lifting capacity, which is nearly three times that of the MK-5. The robot will have a turret and a pan and tilt camera. The article doesn’t say, but I imagine that like the MK-5, it would accept optional attachments like a shotgun, microphone, megaphone, etc. The article also doesn’t mention a specific means of locomotion, but the MK-5 uses treads, and like the MK-5 the new system will be able to climb stairs.
The robot will be controlled via a wired or wireless control panel. It will originally be battery-powered like the MK-5, but InRob is already planning for a fuel-powered system that would give the robot even more lifting power and also increase its operating time and range.
Read the article at InformationWeek.com: “Growing Bomb Threats Spur Robot Development“