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VR Interfaces: iRobot Packbot


Overview of iRobot Packbot
The iRobot packbot is a purely military robot, with over 2000 in service at time of writing. One of iRobot's flagship robots for 2007-2009, this is essentially a scouting reconnaissance robot, with a remote controlled maniplatory arm that has nine degrees of freedom.

If you've seen a robot disarming a bomb, chances are the robot was a packbot.

They are utilized in any situation where human lives could be endangered. Better to send a brainless robot - yes, brainless, it has no real AI - in to deal with the situation instead. Whilst military, Packbot has no offensive weaponry, nor are there plans to give it any.

The latest version at time of writing, the PackBot 510 improves over its predecessor by offering a 30% increased speed, twice the gripping strength and weight lifting prowess. It is also the first such to be controlled with what looks suspiciously like a PS2 joypad. This is to ease familiarity with the robot's control in soldiers who grew up playing on the console. The joypad possesses six analogue axes, tilt sensors, as well as ten pressure sensitive buttons, with another four on-off toggle buttons, so it has enough controls to be remapped to the Packbot, and its arm without requiring additional controls.

The company provides the bots with the following swappable kits, for duifferent operations:
  • PackBot 510 with EOD Bomb Disposal Kit
  • PackBot 510 with Fast Tactical Maneuvering Kit
  • PackBot 510 with First Responder Kit
  • PackBot 510 with HazMat Detection Kit
  • PackBot 510 with Fido Explosives Detector
  • PackBot 510 with REDOWL Sniper Detection Kit
  • Basic Packbot with no additions
The bot itself is extremely rugged, and is designed to drop repeatedly from up to six feet up onto solid concrete with no damage. Without any additional packs, it weighs in at 40lb or 18kg .



Further Reading

iRobot Pacckbot

iRobot PackBot on Facebook

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