Counter-IED product heads to Afghanistan

Jan. 23, 2012 at 9:52 AM
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PITTSBURGH, Jan. 23 (UPI) -- Robotic manipulator arms used to detect and counter improvised explosive devices are being sent to Afghanistan for U.S. military evaluation.

RE2 Inc., a Pennsylvania developer of modular manipulator systems, said 100 of its DS1-MA Manipulator Arms are scheduled for delivery to the California company that makes the Armadillo Micro Unmanned Ground Vehicle.

Once integrated, the vehicles will be shipped to the war zone, where the U.S. Department of Defense's will test the manipulator arms.

"The delivery of more than 100 of our DS1-MA robotic manipulator arms marks a milestone in the company's history. Part of our mission is to develop usable technology that is deployed and used by our troops in order to save lives," said Jorgen Pedersen, president and chief executive officer of RE2.

"This product evaluation is a critical step toward greater adoption of our manipulation technology."

The Armadillo MUGV is a man-packable and throwable platform with traction wheels on a plastic chassis. It weighs 5.5 pounds and can carry multiple payloads to transmit video to its operators.

RE2 said its manipulator arm to be carried by the Armadillo weights 4 pounds and has a lift capacity of 10 pounds.

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