Dec. 15, 2015
Israeli Robots Take Fight to Terrorists – Gwen Ackerman (Bloomberg)
When the Pentagon recently selected a company to supply a portable, stair-climbing robot that can sniff out booby traps, the Israeli firm Roboteam Ltd. got the $25 million contract, its second order for the U.S. military in two years.
Founded in 2009 by a pair of Israeli special-forces officers, Roboteam is benefiting from accelerating demand for inexpensive military robots that can be deployed by SWAT teams to foil terrorists in major cities as well as protect U.S. soldiers from improvised explosive devices in Afghanistan and other combat zones.
Roboteam has managed to undercut rivals with lighter robots that sell for about half the industry average.
Its smallest robot, IRIS, weighs 3.6 pounds and can be lobbed into a building, providing a video stream to troops or police officers outside. The largest, PROBOT, carries 1,650 pounds of equipment.
During the 2014 Gaza war with Hamas, Roboteam machines helped IDF ground forces fight Palestinian militants firing rockets and infiltrating Israel through tunnels. The robots were also used to detect Hamas booby traps.