PackBot is a series of small tracked robots developed for the Military by the iRobot Corporation. According to iRobot, More than 3,000 PackBot robots have been delivered worldwide.
PackBot has been designed to easily climbs stairs, rolls over rubble and navigates narrow, twisting passages. The robot’s patented mobility platform features dual QuickFlip™ track articulations. These ‘flippers’ are capable of continuous 360-degree rotation and enable PackBot to traverse rocks, mud, snow, gravel and other tough terrain. PackBot’s flexible polymer tracks eject debris and move the robot over all surfaces with sure-footed efficiency. PackBot even climbs grades up to 60 degrees. PackBot 510 is 30 percent faster, capable of travelling at speeds of up to 5.8 miles per hour (9.3 km/h).
PackBot’s shock-resistant chassis can survive shocks of up to 400 Gs. This tough robot can withstand a six-foot drop (1.8 m) onto concrete, being thrown through a window, tumbling down stairs and being deployed from a low-altitude helicopter. PackBot is fully sealed, with no exposed wires, making the robot operational in all weather conditions. PackBot can also withstand submersion in 6 feet (1.8 m) of water.
PackBot offers multi-mission flexibility and customisation options on a proven chassis. State-of-the-art electronics enhance payload integration capabilities. Each of the eight payload ports is equipped with Ethernet, USB, power and two video channels. As a result, there is no limit to the types of payloads the robot can support. Interchangeable, modular payloads enable the robot to perform a wide variety of missions.
PackBot can be hand carried and deployed by one person in less than two minutes. No expensive, specialised equipment or vehicles are necessary; PackBot can be easily loaded into a MOLLE pack, the trunk of a car or a helicopter. Once deployed, the robot can quickly penetrate collapsed buildings, sewers, tunnels, airplane aisles, railroad cars and other areas that are inaccessible or dangerous.
The robot relays real-time video, audio and other sensor readings while the operator stays at a safe standoff distance. The operator can view a 2-D or 3-D image of the robot on the control unit, allowing for precise positioning. The control unit is battery-powered and can also be used with a supplementary power supply. PackBot 510 also features a game-style hand controller for faster training and easier operation in the field.