Britain Orders Dragon Runner Robots for the Troops
QinetiQ North America subsidiary Automatika recently announced a GBP 12 million (about $20 million) urgent operational contract from the UK’s Ministry of Defence to supply almost 100 of its small Automatika Dragon Runner robots, associated spares and technical services, for use in Afghanistan.
Dragon Runners are small, backpack-carried 10-20 kg/ 22-45 pound robots whose basic chassis is less than a foot square, allowing them to operate in environments ranging from sewers and drainpipes to caves and courtyards. They are smaller than the USA’s MTRS robots, and more comparable to smaller models like the BomBot and Marcbot. The variant selected by the UK MoD is equipped with a manipulator arm to assist with the disarming of improvised explosive devices, but Dragon Runner can be configured for a variety of other reconnaissance and surveillance operations, such as perimeter security, checkpoint security and the inspection of suspect vehicles.