Here's another article from our Guest Bloger Sharon Bender for InventorSpot.com. Sharon holds numerous scholarly degrees, has served as an educator and is a freelance writer. She loves investigating the latest survival gadgets and technology. Here is the latest:
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PackBot, an iRobot product goes beyond cleaning floors. It has become a new device that is popular with our U.S. troops who haven’t been able to stop devising new ways to use it. PackBots can do everything from carrying heavy loads to inspecting roadside bombs. The military has purchased two million of them. They are already employed in fighting terror and they can snoop out the opposition without being seen. This saves the lives of our young men and women in the service. PackBots can investigate places a soldier wouldn’t fit like narrow tunnels.
From carpet sweepers to bomb diffusers, PackBots are our newest form of super heroes. Install a PackBot in a Kayak and you get a "Kayak-bot" that can perform search missions in flooded conditions. MIT thought it had the new technology under wraps until locals in Maine noticed a fleet of kayaks operating themselves on a lake.
The Roomba , that started the mini-robotic craze is a battery-powered automatic vacuum cleaner that enjoyed its domestic debut a couple of years ago with a growing reception. It is now being sold in around 4,000 outlets.
PackBots of all designs are being used in Iraq to run reconnaissance missions, protecting our service men and women from danger. Their life saving feats began in earnest after the 9/11 strike on American soil. PackBots checked the stability of damaged buildings in the World Trade Center. They are now spies at airbases and they are able to climb over rough terrain. Once thrown, a PackBot is able to upright its 42-pound frame. With infrared cameras they can see around corners and report back what our eyes cannot see or dare to venture.
iRobot Corp. recently signed a $26 million contract with the Navy with the plan to build over 200 bomb disposing PackBots. The U.S. military has dibs on up to 1,200 PackBots. Worldwide distrubtion has already lead to the performance of tens of thousands of missions. With a price tag of around $45,000 each, the PackBot is packed with engineering and computer technology, and saving lives is a PackBot's primary mission . . . besides cleaning floors.