Posted by: robotnews | April 5, 2007

PackBot Tactical Robot



When soldiers encounter a suspected minefield, they are usually delayed and face possible injuries if they are not careful. However, PackBot has been put to use to clear minefields around the world, most notably in Afaganistan during 2002 by the US ground forces. To date, more than 800 PackBot units have been sold around the world and are used in operations where robotic aid is deemed necessary – such as in urban warfare, minefield clearing, and in Afganistan’s case, the clearing of caves.

PackBot is basically a robot that can be used as an explorer, scout or in explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) missions. As an explorer, PackBot functions to move and provide sight to the user by elevating its body to peek over obstacles. As a scout, it uses its sensors and is lightweight and low-profile. To clear explosives, its OmniReach manipulator system enables it to extend over two meters, when clearing mines on EOD missions. Together with its low profile, PackBot operates effectively under vehicles or even inside sewers.

PackBot is able to attain a road speed of up to 14 km/h, and has continuous 360 degrees rotation. More importantly, it can move in rough terrain and over obstacles such as stairs, rocks, logs, rubble and debris. It can go underwater up to 2 meters deep and can withstand drops from 2 meters height onto a concrete surface. It can also be thrown through windows or tumble down a flight of stairs. In conclusion, its features and modes makes PackBot very attractive to armies around the world as it enhances the survivability of soldiers.U036378U Boo Junyou

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Responses

  1. A great invention to protect the lives of the troops in war-torn countries. I was wondering are these robots able to withstand bullets and bomb blast?

    Tng Thomson (U046231A)

  2. Avery useful invention indeed. Im sure it will be able to withstand a bomb blast..Unless it has been designed and made with 0% failure rate. I do hope that is the case, because of the amount of trust these troops place on the robot. Imagine, if they thought the whoel field was clean, but actually some mines were left unnoticed..
    Then again, it is better to have a reduced number of mines that a whole field full of them..

    Sivagami A (U037814E)

  3. A indeed helpful and great robot, it makes the wars safer, though there is no safe war. maybe in the late time, we dont send humans to the war but instead, robots will be the main forces just like what we watch in the movie.

    Yu Zhenyu U037786A

  4. The robot seems to be wireless controlled. However, I really wonder accuracy of the signals received by those sensors to be sent through wireless transmission to the controller. Especially during mine-clearing mission.

    Use robots in the war?!! That’s just like Nobel’s nightmare…

    Jin Peng
    U036569E

  5. PackBot sounds like a great product for war. It will help in saving lives of soldiers.
    But will it be able to survive a bomb blast? I guess even if it is unable to withstand such attacks, it will still be used by armed forces just to save those numerous lives. Its obviously better to sacrifice a robot than let soldiers be a victim of the mines.

  6. PackBot sounds like a great product for war. It will help in saving lives of soldiers.
    But will it be able to survive a bomb blast? I guess even if it is unable to withstand such attacks, it will still be used by armed forces just to save those numerous lives. Its obviously better to sacrifice a robot than let soldiers be a victim of the mines.

    Naman Agarwal
    U037020W

  7. This robot is totally cool. With this little guy around, it can help to save lives. I think the designer of the robot can build on this and make it into a minelayer instead? So that it lay mines in enemy territory and yet will not harm the soldier who is controlling it.

  8. Future developments could have teams of robots deployed over a large area to speed up mine detecting operations. The robots could communicate with one another using ad-hoc wireless networks to update their progress and build a virtual map of the cleared mine region.

    This would come in very handy to clear minefields in war-torn areas especially in the Middle East where many innocent civilians are still killed by old mines left over from wars many years ago.

    by U037779R, Han Mingding

  9. The detection of explosives is a wonderful area for research on sensors, Neural Networks and navigation. If you are in need of cheap single units (since you have to scan an area from a very close distance and need many of them to actually clear a larger field), self-organized behaviour based on verys little input information could become necessary – this is a nice application area for techniques of swarm robotics!

  10. The detection of explosives is a wonderful area for research on sensors, Neural Networks and navigation. If you are in need of cheap single units (since you have to scan an area from a very close distance and need many of them to actually clear a larger field), self-organized behaviour based on verys little input information could become necessary – this is a nice application area for techniques of swarm robotics!

    by Walther Schulze, NT061333Y


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