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.
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."