Most of us who are familiar with the iRobot name probably know the company for its line of robotic vacuum cleaners. The little vacuum cleaners are pretty cool and not too long ago some people grafted a robot arm on to one of the iRobot devices to allow it to pick things up from the floor. iRobot also makes several other robots that are aimed at more serious uses for the military and law enforcement.
The company has announced that it has shipped its 3,000th iRobot PackBot tactical robot. The robot rides on tank treads and has an articulating arm with a camera attached to the end to let a remote operator see what the robot is doing. The PackBot can be outfitted for different mission types.
One of the most important mission types that the PackBot undertakes for the US military is bomb disposal. In addition to explosive ordinance disposal, the robot can also be used to survey locations with hostile troops to keep soldiers safer. The robot is controlled by a game-style hand controller for faster training and easier operation.