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iRobot's military Ember bots are tiny treaded hotspots

Tim Stevens

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Remember the LANDroids initiative, which resulted in iRobot scoring a $2.5 million contract to create tiny, miniaturized bots that could crawl through battlefields and your nightmares? The company is showing off the early fruits of that contract, the Ember microbot, which is so small it slipped entirely under our radar. It's not quite as tiny as DARPA seemed to hope, which depicted a bot little bigger than a pack of cards, but shrinking a Packbot down to paperback size is no small task -- even it is a James Clavell paperback. The bot's primary function is to set up a roving military network on the battlefield, but, with an integrated webcam and extension via USB and SDIO, who knows what kind of functionality they'll provide. The goal is to get these down to $100 or less, and for that price we could see plenty of civilians investing in these just to keep an eye on the activities of household pet insurgents.

[Via Robot Stock News]

Gallery: iRobot Ember microbot | 5 Photos

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