iRobot 310 SUGV, United States of America


The 310 SUGV (Small Unmanned Ground Vehicle) is a man-portable robot manufactured by iRobot Corporation. The SUGV is intended for use by soldiers, combat engineers and mobile explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) technicians to gather data for situational awareness in critical conditions.

The 310 SUGV can be deployed in a range of missions, including surveillance / reconnaissance, explosive ordnance disposal (EOD), route clearance and vehicle and personnel inspection.

Development of the SUGV family of vehicles was commenced by Boeing and iRobot in 2007. Boeing handles the programme management, contracts, government-test and quality-control support, while iRobot is responsible for the technology, production, training and logistics services.

Orders and deliveries of the 310 SUGV

In July 2010, Boeing and iRobot received a $14.6m follow-on order to deliver 94 new 310 SUGV robots and spares for the US Army. The US Air Force placed an order for 70 310 SUGV robots in October 2010.

iRobot received a $7.6m order from the US Army Contracting Command in Warren in April 2011, for 50 new 310 SUGV robots and spares. iRobot also received another order worth $12.7m from the US Army Contracting Command in Warren for 68 iRobot 310 SUGVs and spares in June 2012.

In October 2012, the US Army Robotic Systems Joint Program Office (RSJPO) placed a $10m indefinite delivery / indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract for providing maintenance training and spares for the 310 SUGV. iRobot also received an additional $3.7m order for heads-down controllers.

Small Unmanned Ground Vehicle design features

"Boeing and iRobot received a $14.6m follow-on order to deliver 94 new 310 SUGV robots and spares for the US Army."

The 310 SUGV is a smaller and lighter variant of the combat-proven iRobot PackBot. The modular design of 310 SUGV integrates a wide range of payloads and sensors for identifying and disposing explosive materials. The rugged design allows the operations in all-weather conditions.

The robot is fitted with a dexterous manipulator to investigate and neutralise hazardous objects. Mounted on the 3600 rotatable turret, the manipulator includes a shoulder, elbow and a wrist. The wrist is attached with a gripper comprising of a parallel jaw opening. The manipulator extends 24in and can lift a maximum load of seven pounds when fully extended.

The 310 SUGV has an overall length of 76.1cm and width (flippers on) of 43.7cm. The length with flippers stowed is 70.8cm. The SUGV has a height of 89.7cm with the fully extended manipulator. The empty weight of the SUGV is 29lb. The robot weighs 35lb when equipped with mission payload.

Payload of iRobot's vehicle

The 310 SUGV carries cameras, illumination and communication systems, as well as optional payloads and sensors. The chassis is fitted with a wide angle, fixed focus camera for supporting driving and stair climbing. It reacts to the infrared illumination. The forward and rear driving cameras provide imagery with a resolution of 640 x 480 pixels.

The Sony IX11 colour zoom camera aboard the robot offers a 40x zoom and field of view of 48° to 5°. The camera is equipped with a range of features, such as auto focus / auto iris, shutter, focus and low light capability. Other payloads include Commercial Off-The-Shelf (COTS) radio equipment and infra-red illuminator.

Control and performance of the 310 SUGV

The 310 SUGV is remotely operated by a basic wearable game-style hand controller interfaced with Tac-Eye heads-up glasses. The rugged, sunlight readable controller weighs around 6lb.

"The 310 SUGV is a smaller and lighter variant of the combat-proven iRobot PackBot."

The SUGV can be optionally controlled by Military Standard (MIL-STD) hand controller or heads-down rugged controller. It features a 5.6in LCD display screen and joystick-style control.

The 310 SUGV is powered by two BB-2557/U batteries which provide 1.5 hours of operation. The operators can install or remove the batteries without using tools. The SUGV is optionally powered by BB-2590/U batteries which offer over six hours of operation.

The 310 SUGV operates at a maximum speed of 10km/h. It can cross vertical obstacles of 30.5cm height and can climb stairs of 25.4cm height.

The SUGV can traverse through a water depth of 15.2cm. A standard MOLLE or ALICE pack is used to carry the 310 SUGV.

Defence Technology

Related content

PETMAN (Protection Ensemble Test Mannequin) Humanoid Military Robot

Protection Ensemble Test Mannequin (PETMAN) is a humanoid robot being developed for the US Army to test the special clothing used by soldiers for protection against chemical warfare agents.

Raytheon XOS 2 Exoskeleton, Second-Generation Robotics Suit

Forecast spending for 2012 has been lowered as government officials confirm the UK will pull out of Afghanistan by 2014.XOS 2 is a second-generation robotics suit being developed by Raytheon for the US Army. The company publicly demonstrated the capabilities of the exoskeleton for the first time at its research facility in Salt Lake City in Utah, in September 2010.