The US Marine Corps is to receive a number of FirstLook throwable robots from Endeavor Robotics via a USD10 million contract that was awarded in May.
The FirstLook is a small, tracked platform that has a flipper system that enables it to right itself and to climb steps – the platform can climb over 17.8 cm obstacles. The platform is submersible to depths of 90 cm. The unit is portable, weighing 2.3 kg, and can be carried in a backpack. It can be thrown and can survive a 5 m drop onto a concrete surface. The FirstLook can reach speeds of up to 5.5 km/h.
“The FirstLook robots will be delivered soon to the marines,” said Charles Dean, vice president at Endeavor Robotics.
The platform is fitted with four day and night cameras at the front, rear, and on both sides with IR illumination for low-light conditions; other cameras and specialised payloads can be integrated within the confines of the platform's performance envelope up to 0.22 kg. Various payloads can be mounted including thermal imagers, chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) sensors, and destructive payloads. The platform also features two-way audio communications and digital mesh networking capabilities, allowing multiple robots to relay radio communications over greater distances.
It’s often used to clear buildings, detect IEDs, and for confined spaces such as caves, tunnels, and crawl spaces. Day/night cameras and two-way audio allow the FirstLook to act as ‘eyes and ears,’ giving operators greater stand-off distance from potential threats.
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