iRobot Warrior, PackBot go to work at S.C. nuclear plant

Nuclear helper? The Warrior 710 can haul a pickup truck and travel 8 mph. It can also be weaponized.

(Credit:
iRobot)

If you thought military robots were only fighting wars overseas, think again. iRobot’s war-bots are now working at a nuclear plant right here on home soil.

The company’s Warrior and PackBot military robots are carrying out inspections and other duties at a nuclear power plant in South Carolina, iRobot announced today.

Last fall, operator Progress Energy purchased one Warrior 710 and two PackBot 510 units for its Robinson Nuclear Plant near Hartsville. It marks the first time iRobot’s machines are being used at a domestic nuclear plant.

The 710-MW Robinson Nuclear Plant in South Carolina.

(Credit:
Progress Energy)

Priced around $350,000 to $400,000, the Warrior is a rugged machine that can haul payloads of more than 150 pounds and lift up to 220 pounds. The PackBot, at $100,000 to 150,000, is used for tactical operations such as inspecting objects.

Variants of the remote-controlled droids have been used in the aftermath of the nuclear crisis in Japan. iRobot sent two Warriors and two PackBots to Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) to help with surveys and debris removal at the … [Read more]

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