EDINA, Minn., Aug. 24 (UPI) -- The U.S. military has ordered hundreds of miniature reconnaissance robots from ReconRobotics Inc. of Minnesota for $5.8 million.
ReconRobotics said the series of contracts for 385 of its Recon Scout XT micro-robot kits came from the U.S. Army Rapid Equipping Force and the U.S. Special Operations Command.
Included in the orders are a large number of Recon Scout SearchStick devices, which can be used by warfighters to convert any Recon Scout Throwbot into a pole camera.
"Nothing makes us more proud than designing and building products that help our U.S. armed forces safely and successfully complete their missions," said Ernest Langdon, director of Military Programs for ReconRobotics.
"Our military sees these durable, easy-to-deploy micro-robots as a critical piece of gear for dismounted troops, not unlike their ballistic vests and helmets.
"Not only do these robots provide immediate visual reconnaissance that saves lives, but they do so without substantially increasing the carry burden of our U.S. Special Forces and dismounted fire teams."
ReconRobotics said the series of orders signals an increasing emphasis on personal micro-robots that are deployed at the fire-team level. Until now, the majority of deployed military robots have been Small Unmanned Ground Vehicles that weigh 30-40 pounds and are typically deployed at the company level to assist in counter-IED missions.
The Recon Scout XT weighs 1.2 pounds, can be deployed in 5 seconds and thrown up to 120 feet.
Nearly 2,000 of the company's Recon Scout Throwbot systems have been deployed by the U.S. military and international forces and by hundreds of law enforcement agencies worldwide.