Video: iRobot goes to war

Posted by Shane McGlaun

iRobot has released a video showcasing the military capabilities of its 110 FirstLook robot.

Essentially, the FirstLook is a mini-tank treaded 'bot designed to help soldiers and law enforcement officials see what is going on inside a building without putting a human at risk. Indeed, the model 110 robot is rugged enough to be dropped or thrown through a window for surveillance missions.

The 110 weighs 5 pounds, can survive drops of 15 feet, and overcome obstacles as high as 7 inches. If the 'bot lands upside down, it automatically self-rights to get itself back on track. Additional features planned for the future include 2-way audio communications and mesh networking that will allow multiple robots to relay communication signals.

For now, though, the 110 measures 10 inches long by 9 inches wide by 4 inches tall. It is capable of running for over six hours on a typical mission per battery charge and boasts approximately 10 hours of battery life for stationary video monitoring.

The 'bot is also equipped with four integrated cameras (front, rear, and side facing), along with IR illumination capabilities, allowing its operators to see in low light. The robot travels up to 3.4 mph while traversing some impressively rough terrain, and can be equipped with chemical, biohazard, and radiation sensors or disruptive payloads weighing up to half a pound.