It was more than a year ago when we first told you about the Seaglider (aka, Deepglider) autonomous robot used for academic research. As of today, it has the deep pocketed backing of iRobot. As soon as the ink dries, iRobot gains the sole rights to the University of Washington's technology and its long-range, high-endurance vehicle -- 70 of which are already making "oceanographic measurements" around the world. Presumably speaking to a crowd of generals with an affinity for Buck Turgidson, Helen Greiner, co-founder and chairman of iRobot said:

"We have a strong track record for transferring new technology from research initiatives into products that support military missions. Ten years ago we transformed the original PackBot into a combat-proven robot used today by soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan, and licensing the Seaglider from the University of Washington will help our robots conquer new underwater frontiers."

Really Helen, conquer? Enemies of The State, you've been warned.

[Via gizmag]

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iRobot to convert UW's academic Seaglider into military drone