EDINA, Minn. – May 3, 2011 – ReconRobotics, Inc. announced today that it has signed a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Pacific (SSC Pacific) to jointly develop a Recon Scout Throwbot reconnaissance robot with magnetized wheels that will, among other things, enable the robot to climb up and over the hull of a ship. ReconRobotics believes that this concept could evolve into a new micro-robot platform that would have immediate applications in maritime piracy interdiction and in protecting the lives of shipboard military personnel. SSC Pacific and ReconRobotics recently unveiled the initial concept of this one-pound micro-robot and its novel marsupial-robot delivery system at the National Defense Industry Association (NDIA) Ground Robotics Capabilities Conference in Orlando, FL.
"We believe that this micro-robot platform could help mitigate maritime piracy threats and protect the lives of naval personnel and anti-piracy teams," said Alan Bignall, President and CEO of ReconRobotics. "We hope to collaborate with SSC Pacific within the mandates of our CRADA to further develop this robot and quickly bring it and the marsupial robot deployment system to market. In the future this system might also include other payloads and sensors which would increase its versatility and expand its mission profile."
The marsupial robot deployment system named in the CRADA enables an operator of a large robot to automatically transport and deploy a smaller robot downrange using a customized, ejectable sabot. This system could be particularly useful in reconnaissance, EOD and HAZMAT applications.
The magnetized robot is based on the Recon Scout Throwbot platform, which is widely used by military and law enforcement personnel to conduct immediate reconnaissance within dangerous and hostile environments. These robots are distinguished by their small size, rugged durability, versatility and ease of use. For example, the Recon Scout XT weighs just 1.2 pounds, can be deployed in five seconds and can survive throws of 120 feet. Like the Recon Scout XT, the magnetized concept robot is also equipped with an infrared optical system that enables it to see in complete darkness.