Micro-Robots Big Hit at Pentagon

YERUSHALAYIM -

Micro-robots designed in Israel are making big news at the U.S. Army Special Forces, reports Globes.

The Micro Tactical Ground Robot (MTGR), weighs less than 20 pounds, carries its weight in payload and is built to clear obstacles, climb stairs and conduct complex maneuvers in difficult terrain.

Its five onboard cameras, internal microphone and infrared laser pointers generate intelligence and targeting data 360 degrees around the vehicle, and has line-of-sight operating range of 530 yards. It uses secure encrypted radio voice and video streams to communicate tactical operators and higher command staff. It can be carried by one soldier and has a top speed of 3.2 km/h.

Those specifications have impressed Pentagon officials, who have decided to fast-track testing and fielding of MTGR as part of a 40-month Pentagon program that extends through 2015 at an estimated cost of $15.7 million.

The micro-robots were designed by Tel Aviv-based start-up Roboteam Ltd., and  manufactured by its McLean, Virginia, subsidiary Roboteam Inc., according to Defense News.

The MTGR is on display at the Israeli pavilion at the Association of the U.S. Army (AUSA) 2013 Annual Meeting and Exposition, which opened on Monday at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC. Fifteen Israeli defense companies are among the hundreds of exhibitors at the exposition.