250-pound robot to help soldiers stay alive

The LandShark, a six-wheeled robotic vehicle that vaguely resembles one of those miniature bulldozers you sometimes see at construction sites, is set to debut in Boston. 

A soldier with the 250-pound LandShark can remotely detonate a bomb or probe a roadway for booby traps, without risking his life. And with a price half that of other military robots, the Pentagon could afford to buy a lot more of them.  Landshark could directly compete with another Boston area robotics company, iRobot, to provide the military with bomb-busting robots.

Existing military robots like the iRobot PackBot could never have pushed a bomb-laden truck out of the roadway. But Black-I's LandShark is capable of shoving a vehicle weighing up to 11,000 pounds over a short distance.

"We're not a big defense contractor," said Brian Hart, whose previous business made automated drug-dispensing equipment for pharmacies. "They don't wash their hands without a government grant." Instead, Hart has financed development of the LandShark with his own money.

Source:  Boston Globe

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