iRobot wins $9.6 million contract with Canada

The robotics maker, a regular supplier for the U.S. military, will deliver 20 chemical- and bomb-sniffing PackBot robots.

iRobot Reece PackBot

The MIT spinoff iRobot, which has supplied the U.S. military with bomb-disposal and other robots for years, will provide the Canadian Department of National Defense with 20 multipurpose reconnaissance robots used to detect chemical warfare agents, explosives and radiation.

The Bedford, Mass.-based company said it is delivering its 510 PackBot CBRN Recce Systems under a multi-year contract initially worth $9.6 million. The 20 robotic systems are scheduled to be delivered by April 2015, iRobot said.

The robotics sensor suite integrates five primary sensors to detect and report chemical warfare agents, toxic chemicals, explosives and radiation. The company said the robotic platform could also integrate sensors to identify chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear threats.

The robotic system also can be used for explosive ordnance disposal, battlefield reconnaissance, route clearing and data collection. The Army has made use of the company’s robotic systems, such as the 40-pound PackBot for detecting improvised explosives, the 115-pound TALON for moving larger objects and the 5-pound FrirstLook, a throwable robot that can provide situational awareness for soldiers in close-in situations. The Navy and Marines also use them.

The company said it has so far delivered more than 5,000 robots for military and civilian applications.