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QinetiQ partners with Bobcat on new kit

MCLEAN, Va., Aug. 12 (UPI) -- QinetiQ North America announced a joint project with Bobcat Co. to add robotic technologies to compact loaders to counter increasingly large roadside bombs.

U.S. company QinetiQ says its Technology Solutions Group has developed a specialized kit that can be integrated with Bobcat compact loaders adding remote control capabilities to the loader.

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The robotic kit, which can be quickly installed on 17 Bobcat models, offers military units in combat zones the ability to dispose of large-scale improvise explosive devices or other explosive threats that require excavation or a front loader bucket to lift and remove.

"Other companies have roboticized individual pieces of earth-moving equipment, but until now, no one has created a universal kit that can quickly remotely control any Bobcat Selectable Joystick Controls-equipped loader used in the rough manner the military requires," William Ribich, QinetiQ Technology Solutions Group president, said in a statement.

"The kit gives the warfighter and bomb disposal teams tremendous flexibility in a cost-effective manner, given the low cost of the Bobcat loaders manufactured in high volumes for civilian uses compared to customized robots built in small numbers just for counter-IED activities."

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