This guy eats Roombas for breakfast. It’s called the Warrior, it weighs 450 pounds, and it can carry stuff, destroy stuff, or do stuff (like opening a door). Although you won’t find this bad boy at Sears anytime soon, it is created by the same company everyone knows and loves for the Roomba and Scooba floor-cleaning robots. But iRobot’s reach has long extended beyond the domesticated fare. This latest creation is the newest in its history of offering military-grade robotics.
And it’s all powered by an Xbox controller. Microsoft’s ergonomics were apparently just right for the process of carrying out tasks remotely. With the controller, users can navigate the Warrior and send basic functions to it, such as smashing windows or transporting heavy material. It can zoom by at up to eight miles per hour. The biggest advantage is its small footprint.
iRobot VP of operations for military and industrial robots Tim Trainer was quoted as saying, “With the small robots, you really have to optimize them for specific missions. With the Warrior, you can provide more flexibility.” Warrior prototypes have already been deployed, including two that were sent to navigate damage at the Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan after last year’s earthquake and tsunami.